Clean your image before sullying Anwar’s, PKR tells Dr M

(The Malaysian Insider) – PKR told Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today to focus on cleaning his own image instead of attempting to taint Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s, reminding the former prime minister of controversies surrounding his eldest son Mirzan’s finances.

Party leaders said Dr Mahathir should explain his involvement in “bailing out” his son’s firm in 1998, allegedly with RM2 billion worth of taxpayers’ money, and how the financially-troubled Mirzan could subsequently afford the RM2.9 billion purchase of San Miguel in the Philippines, Southeast Asia’s largest beer brewery.

“Dr Mahathir should clean his own image and answer to these two issues involving his family… instead of trying to deny that he had borrowed funds from the World Bank and blaming Anwar for being in support of seeking international assistance during the 1997 financial crisis,” PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said today.

Rafizi was referring to the ongoing row between the two leaders which erupted last week when Anwar alleged to have sighted documents proving that Dr Mahathir had sought financial aid from the World Bank during his tenure as prime minister.

In response over the weekend, Dr Mahathir had denied this, challenging Anwar to swear on the Quran and adding that he would be willing to do the same.

Dr Mahathir had also indicated that Anwar had been in favour of measures recommended by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the financial crisis that would prove detrimental to the country’s financial situation.

PKR called Dr Mahathir’s bluff in a statement yesterday and furnished documented proof today that the former prime minister had sought some US$704 million, worth some RM2.6 billion during the economic crisis, from the global financial body.

Rafizi pointed to the dates on the documents — October 23, 1998, March 3, 1999, and July 26, 1998 — all of which proved the loan appeals were made while Anwar was already sacked from his government post and was “languishing in prison with a bad back and black eye”.