Prove my children became millionaires while I was PM, Dr M tells Apandi

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has challenged former attorney-general (AG) Apandi Ali to prove that his children became millionaires while he was the prime minister.

(FMT) – This came after Apandi had reportedly asked, “Where else in this world can a prime minister’s children become millionaires?”

Mahathir said his children were not allowed to do any business with the government, let alone join a government party, when he was the prime minister.

“If my children had indeed become millionaires, please show proof of the dates they were declared millionaires and the evidence of them being millionaires,” he said in a statement.

He said that if the claim could not be proven, the statement would be considered slander and he had the right to take legal action.

He was responding to four questions posed by Apandi on Facebook last month, including on the Batu Puteh case, the Sulu claim, and Apandi’s dismissal suit as AG.

Apandi had asked why the Mahathir government had chosen to settle a wrongful dismissal suit against him through a tacit agreement, and whether this meant Mahathir had acted arbitrarily and illegally in letting him go as AG.

Mahathir clarified that Apandi was dismissed because the US justice department and, subsequently, the local courts had found former prime minister Najib Razak guilty of wrongdoing. Yet, he said, Apandi had cleared him.

He said this showed Apandi was negligent in claiming that Najib had done no wrong.

“Apandi’s actions show that he does not adhere to the rule of law. He is not suitable to be AG. The government has the right to axe people who made wrong decisions and in the past, it had stripped many of their positions for doing so,” he said.

He said Malaysia dropped the Batu Puteh claim to respect an earlier agreement with Singapore. If Malaysia had not dropped the claim, then Indonesia also had grounds to claim Sipadan and Ligitan islands off Sabah. The International Court of Justice decided the two islands belonged to Malaysia in 2002.

“An international accord by a sovereign state must be fulfilled as a matter of trust. Otherwise, Malaysia will not be trusted to honour agreements with other countries. Malaysia will lose its credibility.

“It was a mistake when a Johor government officer told Britain that Batu Puteh did not belong to them. After all, we got Middle Rock which could be reclaimed similarly as Pulau Layang Layang,” he said.

As for the Sulu claim, Mahathir said Najib was to blame as he arbitrarily ceased payments to the Sulu heirs without advice from the AG at that time.

“The claim by the heirs of the Sulu sultanate was made during the Barisan Nasional (BN) government under Najib. The BN government did not act to reject the jurisdiction of the Spanish courts or to refund the payments that had been stopped,” he said.