I don’t have cronies, only capable people, Dr M tells Najib
“If the government has RM1 million in funds to give and we give it to people who aren’t capable, the RM1 million will go missing … I just support people who can contribute to the country’s development”
(FMT) – Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied Najib Razak’s claim that he had asked Najib previously to support projects by his cronies.
“If I have cronies, I can take care of them. I don’t have cronies. I have capable people. I don’t help people who aren’t capable,” Mahathir said in his first press conference since his discharge from hospital.
Najib previously claimed that Mahathir had pressured him when he was the prime minister to support his cronies’ projects.
Mahathir maintained that during his first stint as the prime minister, he ensured that government contracts were only given to firms and individuals who had proven to be capable in the past.
“If the government has RM1 million in funds to give and we give it to people who aren’t capable, the RM1 million will go missing … I just support people who can contribute to the country’s development,” he said.
He said Najib’s allegations were false and that this was nothing new for him, calling him (Najib) a “liar”.
He also dismissed claims that he had enriched his own family members when he was in power, saying he did not allow his children to join politics or set up businesses until he was no longer the prime minister during his first stint.
“Najib says my children are billionaires. Furnish your evidence, like how evidence was shown in court that Najib had misappropriated government funds. I want documentary proof that my children received billions in ringgit as claimed by Najib.”
On recent allegations made against former attorney-general Tommy Thomas over drug offences committed by the son of tycoon Vincent Tan, Mahathir simply said he believed in the rule of law.
“No one is exempted when the rule of law is implemented. So, whether they’re the attorney-general, a senior judge or an anti-corruption leader, they are the same in the eyes of the law.
“If there’s a case, we investigate, and if we find wrongdoing, we will take action. That’s Pejuang’s attitude. We uphold the rule of law, which applies to everyone.”
‘We must know how to be ashamed’
Mahathir also went on a tirade against Najib for his “Malu Apa Bossku” tagline despite being charged and found guilty of corruption, likening it to “the prime minister receiving a foreign leader and inspecting a guard of honour while naked”.
“We must reject this culture of being shameless. We must know how to be ashamed.
“I hope Malaysians will move away from this culture brought by Najib,” he said.