by Mahathir Mohamad
No one accused me as Prime Minister, either in the country or abroad, of siphoning public funds into my pocket.
BLOG Those defending Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the mega global financial scandals have only one argument. That argument is that I was “no better” when I headed the government for 22 years.
So, the critics claim that I have no right to criticize him (Najib) or try to bring him down.
Those who want to defend Najib can sue me for leveling various accusations against the Prime Minister. Najib can also sue the international media.
I have a question for my critics. I want to know whether I, as Prime Minister, was ever accused either within the country or abroad of stealing billions in public funds.
Generally, I was accused during my time of being “corrupt”, having “cronies” and the like. As Prime Minister, I considered such accusations normal in the life of a politician.
I have never faced what Najib was facing now. If I had done what he did, I would have long been dragged to court.
Efforts were made, after I stepped down from office, to dig up dirt on my administration and me. Those who did the research could find nothing against me.
I have no need for financial wealth and in fact left all gifts I received, as Prime Minister, with the government. This included 24 cars I received as gifts.
One gift I refused, after retirement, was land in Putrajaya.
I never spent the salary that I received as Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister for 29 years. I saved the money because all my needs were taken care of by the government while I was in office.
My savings for nearly three decades was used as capital to start a bread shop, keeping horses, rearing cattle and buffaloes. I did not borrow even a sen from any bank but took a government loan to build a house. I have long since repaid the loan.
I never dabbled in shares.
My administration was not without faults. The government suffered losses as a result of decisions that I took.
The international tin market as one disastrous outing. The London Metal Exchange accused Malaysia of trying to corner the market and ruled that those who dabbled in the commodity need not follow through on their pledges. We lost money. Many dealing in tin did not in fact have any stock but had agreed to sell non-existent commodity.
Many bought cheap in the market in the hope of making a killing later on.
We attempted to break the monopoly of the speculators in the tin market.
Among other failures is a steel plant which relied wholly, as instructed by me, on local management. They lacked the necessary knowhow. We lost money but not because anyone stole public funds.
There’s no basis for comparison between the losses suffered by the steel plant and 1MDB. Is there any proof the government suffered losses because I siphoned public funds into my personal account?
I must stress on the rule of law which has been compromised by Najib and that clown Apandi Ali (Attorney General).
If the Prime Minister has done no wrong, why does he prevent the authorities concerned taking action on various complaints against him? Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan has even admitted that Najib was Malaysian Official 1 referred to by the US in a civil action.
Najib, despite wrongdoing in office, was not brought to face justice. The police must be blamed as well for ignoring reports lodged by various people.
Instead of stepping down, Najib was busy carrying out gerrymandering of electoral constituencies and abusing government machinery to go after his critics.
Don’t make excuses that I did the same things as Najib while in office. Allow the law to take its course.