Malaysiakini News

PM: No more free haj trips paid for with stolen money

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Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the government will no longer be sending people to perform their haj pilgrimage on stolen money.

He said this in an apparent jibe at Yayasan 1MDB's "charity efforts" which sponsored free haj trips.

"A lot of people will not be able to perform the haj this time because the government will not be paying for their haj with stolen money.

"If you want to, we can steal and pay, but we don't believe in stealing money," he said during a dinner event in Tokyo with the Malaysian diaspora in Japan.

1MDB had been accused of being a vehicle for former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and his associates to misappropriate funds from the state-owned company.

Najib had denied wrongdoing or taking public funds for personal gain.

Mahathir, in his speech, said the new Pakatan Harapan had to rehabilitate the country and deal with its massive RM1 trillion debt.

"People who already have a fairly good life will not get Harapan's version of BR1M.

"We don't call it BR1M of course, we call it by some other name because we don't want to inherit their (previous government's) bad habits," he said.

He also praised those who contributed to the Tabung Harapan, a fund that allows the public to contribute towards paying the country's debt.

"Some people decided they should donate some money to the government and it is not at the government's urging.

"By now, we have more than RM40 million. Of course, when you need to pay RM1 trillion (in debts), RM40 million is nothing but the gesture is much appreciated.

" I am very grateful to them, we are all very grateful to them. Even in schools, little boys collect money to give to the government," he said.

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