Sunday 21 June 2015

Mahathir 'undermining his own country'

Ex-premier spreading lies as part of personal vendetta: Foreign Minister
The Straits Times, 20 Jun 2015

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman has accused former premier Mahathir Mohamad of spreading "lies" and undermining his own country in the international media as part of his personal political vendetta against Prime Minister Najib Razak, local media reported.

The "reckless claims" have affected market sentiment towards Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Anifah, referring to Tun Dr Mahathir's interview with The New York Times (NYT) published on Thursday.

In an open letter to NYT yesterday, Mr Anifah said Dr Mahathir's recent attacks on the state investment agency, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), were "an excuse to topple" Datuk Seri Najib for not acceding to his demands.

"It is regrettable to see Tun Mahathir seeking to undermine his own country in the international media as part of a personal political vendetta," he said.

"And all because his personal demands, as Tun Mahathir himself has acknowledged, are not being met," he added. - Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad continues his criticism of Malaysian PM Najib Razak.
Posted by TODAY on Sunday, June 21, 2015

He said Dr Mahathir continued to mount attacks on 1MDB despite ongoing investigations by three separate agencies - Bank Negara, the Auditor-General and Parliament's bipartisan Public Accounts Committee - on the state investment fund's alleged financial and management irregularities.

This showed the former premier "is not interested in answers from the appropriate lawful authorities", Mr Anifah said.

"For Tun Mahathir to accuse Prime Minister Najib of acts 'verging on criminal' is simply outrageous and entirely false.

"It is a measure of the reforms put in place under Prime Minister Najib's administration that Tun Mahathir has the freedom to be so vocally critical of the party and government he once led."

Referring to Dr Mahathir's claim that the ruling Umno party "lacks vision and talented people", Mr Anifah said the fault lay with the 89-year-old, who was prime minister for 22 years.

"It was he that, during his time, worked to cultivate 'yes men' and entrench his position - even introducing a quota system for the Umno presidency to prevent challengers - rather than bringing in talent and strengthening the party," he said.

In contrast, it was Mr Najib who is seeking to dismantle that system with his democratisation of the party Constitution to allow for challengers to the Umno presidency today, he added.

"Prime Minister Najib, as Malaysia's democratically elected leader, will do what he thinks is right for the nation, and will not allow rule by proxy," said Mr Anifah.

Speculation has been rife that Dr Mahathir is paving the way for his son and Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir to transit from governing a state to the federal level, the Malay Mail Online reported yesterday.

"Most Malaysians would rather see Dr Mahathir retire gracefully than continue to damage the standing of his own country for personal political gain," Mr Anifah said in ending his letter.

Dr Mahathir has been Mr Najib's harshest critic, especially on the issue of 1MDB, which has racked up RM42 billion (S$15.1 billion) in debt in just six years.

This is the third time in the combative Dr Mahathir's political career that he has turned on his former proteges.

He sacked his deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim because he could not "accept a man who is a sodomist to become the leader of this country".

His hand-picked successor Abdullah Badawi was forced to step down as prime minister to take responsibility for the poor management of the country and the party's poor election results.

Malays could suffer fate of ‘Singapore Malays’ if Najib stays on: Dr M
TODAY, 21 Jun 2015

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that if Prime Minister Najib Razak stays in power, the Malay community in his country could become marginalised just as he claims their Singapore counterparts have become.

Not letting up in his relentless attacks against Mr Najib, Dr Mahathir added that it is likely that the Prime Minister refused to resign because he feared being hauled up to court on “criminal charges”.

In a video released online today (June 21), Dr Mahathir was seen telling a closed-door forum that the struggle for the country is not for the personal goals of one man but for the survival of the nation, its race and its religion, adding that if the “crimes” of the administration went unnoticed, the Malays in the country would be divided.

“I think we are smart people. Do we want to protect Najib? Or do we want to protect the Malays and the country? This is what we have to ask ourselves,” he said in his speech during the forum last Wednesday with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the Perdana Foundation.

Dr Mahathir cited again the example of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy, his biggest pet peeve of the Najib government.

“It’s hard to even imagine RM1 billion (S$357 million) ... even RM1 million, some Malays don’t recognise ... this is RM42 billion,” he said of the reported debt pile of the state investment vehicle.

“But if we don’t acknowledge the crime that is happening here, there is a high likelihood that we will lose and we will be divided ... And we will suffer the fate of the Malays in Singapore, in southern Thailand and other places,” Dr Mahathir said.

The senior statesman has previously made strong statements about what he perceived to be the marginalisation of Malays across the causeway.

Dr Mahathir has been at the forefront of attacks against Mr Najib and has been actively campaigning for the Prime Minister’s resignation, believing that Mr Najib would lead Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition, to doom in the next federal polls.

His own administration had also been coloured by allegations of financial improprieties as much as the questions currently dogging the Najib government over 1MDB.

In the same video, Dr Mahathir added that Mr Najib had committed “many offences” and that if he stays on as Prime Minister, Malaysia was likely headed for doom.

“Advice, I have given. Even threats I have issued. But (Najib) says he can’t, won’t quit,” Dr Mahathir said. “And because he can’t quit, I think he is afraid. If he quits, he might face ­criminal charges.”

“So, Najib has committed many offences and I believe that for as long as he remains Prime Minister, our country will become problematic, will lose its stability and will no longer be a place for us to live comfortably,” he said.

Despite Dr Mahathir’s persistence, Mr Najib has fought hard to resist the former’s calls for his resignation, repeatedly responding by saying that he has the support of the leadership in United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the country’s ruling party and BN linchpin.

Mr Najib said today (June 21) that UMNO leaders should not criticise the government if they want to safeguard Malaysia’s international image, to ensure that other countries continue to view Malaysia positively.

“We have to safeguard our image. If we belittle our image, who loses? We lose. They (foreign countries) are confident in Malaysia. We are on the right path,” Mr Najib told UMNO leaders at an event in conjunction with the coming Hari Raya celebration.

Former minister Zaid Ibrahim has also launched criticisms against Mr Najib, but he disagreed with Dr Mahathir that Najib’s leadership would force the Malays in Malaysia to become as marginalised as Singapore’s Malays, saying they would instead become like those living under the repressive rule of the Taliban.

“Sorry Tun (Mahathir), if under Najib Malays here will become like (Singapore) Malays I will give him full support. Malays under Najib will be Talibans,” Mr Zaid wrote on Twitter today.


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