Dr M: Step down. You’ve made a biggger mess than Badawi


Former prime minister also says those elected are not impervious to removal before their term is out, an example being Badawi.

Lin KayKay, Free Malaysia Today

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said there was nothing wrong in asking Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to step down as he has made a bigger mess of the country than his immediate predecessor Abdullah Badawi.

“An elected leader was not impervious to removal before his term was out,” said Mahathir. “The previous Prime Minister was also elected, in fact with a bigger majority, but he was persuaded to step down by the current Prime Minister Najib.”

He dismissed the big crowds turning up to support Najib. “We all saw such demonstrations before the 13th General Election. The result was worse than the 12th GE.

“Those demonstrations do not translate into support for Najib. They come because of various incentives.”

The former Prime Minister cites the preliminary evidence on why Najib should step down: the talk of the Prime Minister’s lavish spending, of purchases of expensive things, of a life of luxury. “Some of these talks may not be true,” he conceded. “But such talks were not heard during the tenure of the previous Prime Ministers.”

“That there are such talks must be the result of a way of life that was different from what was expected of prime ministers.”

For these and many other reasons, he reiterated, Najib should step down.

Mahathir was commenting on some confusion between repayment of debts and the loss of money by 1MDB. “Even if the debts are fully paid up through the sale of assets bought by 1MDB, that does not mean the company was free from the charge that it cannot account for the billions it had lost.”

He went on to cite more evidence on why Najib should step down.

In business, pointed out Mahathir, money can be lost through bad investments or bad management. “That is acceptable though the CEO and managers would be sacked.”

“But when money was lost and the management cannot explain where it went and how it disappeared then it would still be responsible even if there was a bailout or the debts paid.”

Thus, with money claimed to have been invested in Cayman Islands and despite claims that it had been brought back and was now in Singapore, the money cannot be demonstrated to be there in tangible form, said Mahathir, then management should be held responsible for its loss. “The assumption must be that management had misappropriated the money unless otherwise proven.”

As for the GST, he said, the additional funds raised through it was at the expense of the people. “They have to pay more for everything they buy, which means their purchasing power was reduced.”

In other words they have become poorer, he said, in order to enrich the government.