(June 9): There was no security threat at the "Nothing To Hide" forum, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, adding that the excuse was just a ruse for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to avoid explaining the controversies surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The former prime minister, who had attended the forum held last Friday at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, said except for a man identified as Ali Tinju, who was making "a lot of noise", there were no real security threats.
"I watched a clip of what happened. There was no threat to security except for Ali Tinju making a lot of noise. It is obvious he wanted the meeting to be cancelled. We know who he is in favour of," Dr Mahathir said in a blog posting today.
"It is a pity. Najib could have explained everything and people like me would be silenced."
Najib was scheduled to attend the highly anticipated Nothing to Hide forum organised by non-governmental organisation SukaGuam but backed out at the 11th hour.
The Prime Minister's Office in a statement later said that Najib did not attend on the advice of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who ordered that the forum be cancelled on grounds of maintaining "public order and national harmony".
The event was postponed and Dr Mahathir instead took to the stage before police stopped him from addressing more than 1,000 people at the venue.
Observers said Najib's no-show at the forum undermined his credibility and damaged his reputation.
Dr Mahathir also shot down further suggestions by the forum organisers for another session between him and Najib, saying 1MDB's problems could not be resolved through that manner.
"I don’t think we can resolve the problem of where the 1MDB money has gone through four-eyed meetings. Najib can resolve through proving beyond reasonable doubt that no money has disappeared from the RM42 billion borrowed," he said.
"Actually there are many questions that the prime minister can answer, not to me, but to the public. The money does not belong to me alone. From the questions asked by so many people, they want to know where their money is."
Among these questions, he said, are the profits 1MDB has made since its inception in 2009 and why the firm has to borrow money to pay the interest on the debts.
"The money belongs to the people. It is the duty of the police, the anti-corruption agency to investigate the complaints and the reports that has been made – including by Bank Negara. But the agencies have not investigated," he said.
"There is a climate of fear which restrains them from investigating. For as long as the prime minister is the prime minister, investigating things involving him is not going to be really possible.
"It is necessary that the prime minister relinquish his position and authority if the auditor-general, the Public Accounts Committee or even a Royal Commission is to reveal the truth," he added.
Besides 1MDB, Dr Mahathir has also asked Najib to resign over a myriad of issues including the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, and the use of government jets. – The Malaysian Insider