Why are Mahathir and Muhyiddin quiet about Zeti, asks Puad Zarkashi

(FMT) – An Umno Supreme Council member has questioned the apparent silence of two former prime ministers over former central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz and that of her husband’s link to the 1MDB scandal, calling it “hypocritical”.

Puad Zarkashi said law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had stated that Putrajaya was aware in 2019 of the case involving the husband of the former Bank Negara governor.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin were the prime minister and home minister then, Puad said, and Mahathir had appointed Zeti as chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) in 2018.

Puad then questioned what action Mahathir and Muhyiddin (who became prime minister in 2020) had taken in view of the fact that Singaporean authorities had informed the central bank of suspicious transactions involving a company owned by Zeti’s husband and son in 2015.

Puad said it seemed that Mahathir and Muhyiddin could only utter the word “kleptocracy”. “Yet, when it comes to Zeti and her husband, they don’t say a word. “It’s so hypocritical,” he said in a Facebook post.

The word kleptocracy has become a catchphrase among opposition politicians such as DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, and their supporters, most often used against Najib Razak, who has been implicated in the 1MDB scandal and who faces criminal charges relating to 1MDB-linked funds.

Last month, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it has to date, managed to recover assets and funds linked to 1MDB amounting to RM20.5 billion, including the return of assets worth US$15.4 million (RM64.4 million) from a company co-owned by Zeti’s husband Tawfiq Ayman, a witness in Najib’s 1MDB trial.