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Never forget the billions lost under Mahathir

March 14, 2015

A harsh critic of 1Malaysia Development, but a history of financial scandals

COMMENT

By Azizan Abdullah

mahathir2Malaysians must never forget that under former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir there were monetary losses amounting to tens of billions of ringgit unaccounted for, and irretrievable.

These include:

  • Forex scandal in early 90s : RM30 billion
  • The Perwaja Steel Scandal : RM10 billion
  • Bank Bumi scandal: RM10 billion
  • Maminco-Makuwasa Affair RM1.6 Billion
  • Mahathir used Petronas as a ‘bank’ to bail out many companies, banks etc.

Opposition politician Syed Husin Ali said, “Petronas has neither been fully transparent nor accountable with how it spends its money, especially in aiding and abetting Tun Mahathir to indulge in unproductive construction of mega projects, to bail out ailing crony companies and corporate figures, and to involve [itself]in excessive and wasteful spending on celebrations and conferences.”

  • Mahathir used his position to bail out his children or to give them special benefits.

Konsortium Perkapalan

In early 1998, Petronas acquired a debt-laden shipping concern controlled by Mahathir’s eldest son Mirzan Mahathir’s Konsortium Perkapalan for RM 226 million and assumed its debts of more than 324 million, according to Far Eastern Economic Review stating the debt at RM 1.6 billion.

Sapura-Kenaca Petroleum

In early November 2012, Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd reportedly awarded a RM700 million contract to a Sapura-Kencana Petroleum Bhd wholly-owned subsidiary where Mahathir’s son Mokhzani is a vice-chairperson.

Mahathir replied in a sarcastic tone when asked during a press conference whether there was conflict of interest in the deal.

“Yes of course, he (Mokhzani) is given it because I instructed Petronas. Put that in your paper. I presided over everything. I told them, please give to my son and not to anybody else. That’s what I have been doing all the time. When I was the prime minister, everything was given to my children. But when everything goes to the children of the other Prime Minister, you don’t want to mention because he is a nice man. He enables you to read, doesn’t he?” Mahathir said in reply.

Can Mahathir explain and repay all the above losses?

In sharp contrast, 1MDB is facing a cash flow situation but has strong assets.

When president of Umno, Mahathir introduced a quota system for party elections to ensure he was not challenged. Now he is telling Umno members to remove the PM.

When he was PM, he was infamous for using the ISA jailing opposition. Can you ever forget Ops Lallang I and II?

Has the current regime done that? No.

Tun Dr Mahathir could never be criticised by anyone, not even Soros. Today, old and filthy rich, he wants to criticize and remove Najib who has silently endured all attacks and is ready to be transparent.

Malaysians seem to have forgotten how ‘wonderful’ Malaysia was under TDM and are sharpening claws to attack Najib whom, thanks to the TDM media psywar, is perceived as the bad guy when actually the worst villain ever to have walked  Malaysia is TDM!

Azizan Abdullah is an FMT reader

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