(April 9): Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today questioned those who had attacked him over his criticism against Datuk Seri Najib Razak, asking why the prime minister was unable to answer simple questions on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
In his blog posting, the former prime minister said that instead of answering his simple questions, Najib was asking people to support him.
"I would like to ask the supporters whether their support means the disappearance of RM42 billion is okay, that there is no necessity to at least explain where the money is.
"If you do, go tell Daim, Tengku Razaleigh, Shahrir Samad and Khairy Jamaluddin to shut up,” he said, referring to the several Umno politicians who had raised those issues before.
Dr Mahathir wrote that instead of answering the questions, Najib was getting pledges of support from Umno division heads, Barisan Nasional, MIC, senators and all kinds of groups.
He added that he was not asking anyone to support him, but asked all those who supported Najib to also declare their support for 1MDB, its RM42 billion borrowing and the prime minister's inability to answer where the money is.
"Do you also support keeping billions of ringgit in Cayman Islands? Do you also support that having brought back the money, it must be kept in a Swiss Bank in Singapore?
“Do you also support the explanation that the money cannot be brought back to Malaysia by the prime minister and the minister of finance because Bank Negara will ask too many questions?" Dr Mahathir wrote.
The former prime minister further questioned if they also supported the purchase of government land in Kuala Lumpur at far below market prices while buying power plants from the private sector at higher than market rates.
He added that there had been a suggestion that the land was to be sold to government companies at inflated prices so as to pay the billions borrowed by 1MDB.
Dr Mahathir said if this sale was indeed to pay off 1MDB's debts, it would mean that the fund, which borrowed RM42 billion, could not pay its debts from its investments and that it had lost the billions.
"So what happened to the RM42 billion borrowed, why must 1MDB borrow RM2 billion to pay the interests?
"Why must government make available almost RM1 billion of government money to pay 1MDB debts."
He added that supporters of Najib must also support Jho Low (Low Taek Jho) who managed 1MDB money and who is a friend of Najib's, just like how former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin was his (Dr Mahathir's) friend.
"They must also be friends of Jho Low to have so much faith in him.
"I asked Najib simple questions but instead of answering the questions, he asked people to support him.”
Dr Mahathir has been criticised for his unrelenting attacks against Najib and his call for the latter to resign.
His detractors have argued that he had his own fair share of financial scandals.
Two days ago, Dr Mahathir attempted to defend some of the decisions in his 22-year administration in a bid to counter the argument that he should not criticise Najib’s policy mistakes such as the 1MDB scandal.
Dr Mahathir conceded that while he lost public money during his time as prime minister, he stressed that these were not as bad as the billions going missing under the current administration. – The Malaysian Insider