LETTER | It is ironic that Mahathir Mohamad has chosen to attack Najib Abdul Razak on his RM 100 million land and mansion application as part of his "reward" for serving as Malaysia's prime minister.
Now many would agree that the "convicted" politician Najib deserves no reward – why has Mahathir chosen to take a holier-than-thou attitude in attacking this issue.
After all, it is an open secret that Mahathir has spent a considerable amount of his post-retirement being mired in quid-pro-quo scandals involving his children.
It was in August when tongues were set wagging when controversial Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor claimed that Mukhriz Mahathir when he was Kedah MB had facilitated Menteri Besar Incorporated, a state-owned company, and a Canadian bank account.
We all saw the subsequent brouhaha, with both sides changing the story in a tepid back and forth that led to little in the way of an actual investigation by the authorities.
But in all honesty, are we surprised that another member of the Mahathir clan became embroiled in another accusation of unfairly using their positions for their own personal gain?
This, after all, is an open secret, especially for those part of the Mahathir's family. That sum of RM13 million, which could have helped unfortunate Kedahans during the pandemic or even improved local infrastructure, is pennies for the ever-wealthy Mahathir family.
Mahathir had always claimed that it had never been his intention to create a "legacy" in the local scene. He had numerously touched about his children's massive wealth, for example, as one that is as a result of hard work than the affiliation with the family name itself.
For example, the Sarawak state government in 1994 (which regained prominence due to Najib) gave logging approval of around 1,000 hectares of timber to Tanjung Tiara Sdn Bhd. Who was the lucky owner of Tanjung Tiara? No other than Mukhriz Mahathir, who was not only a shareholder of Tanjung Tiara – but also served as its chairperson.
So, what did Tanjung Tiara or Mukhriz Mahathir do to deserve such a gold mine falling on their laps? According to the legal advisor to the Sarawak government Fong Joo Chung, it was simply because Mukhriz's father, Mahathir Mohamad, was the prime minister of Malaysia at the time.
Similar questions of impropriety were also brought up during Mukhriz's second tenure as Kedah MB. Below is an example of some suspect land sales in Kedah to Chinese businesses – a narrative that is being used by Mahathir himself to label his enemies as traitors to the Malay race. Surprisingly, in this incident, a total of 320 hectares just to a single Chinese company.
The rakyat needs no reminder that Mahathir has left a sordid legacy of nepotism and corruption, all of which we are still feeling the effects of in the 21st century.
These include the agenda to correct the national economy and finances and the monumental task to clean up the mess of 1MDB, FGV, Felcra, TH, LTAT and many other mega-scale scandals that have bled the nation dry.
Finally, there is the need to work out a greater understanding and consensus with royalty on the rule of law and system of constitutional monarchy as the foundation to our democracy.
If we are really to move towards 'keluarga' (family), then it will perhaps require a rethink of how what kind of checks and balances are required in an objective manner – and that means ignoring the artefacts of the past that once dominated our daily lives, regardless of their last name.
After all, at this point, we are all infinitely better off without them.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.