Dr Mahathir Mohamad says Lim Kit Siang wants to see him hanged for his 'crimes' but the former premier claims that his hands are not tainted by corruption.
The above is not an excerpt from the script of a new Hollywood superhero flick but the words of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
To his more harsher critics, the doctor-turned-politician is evil personified as his 22-years in office is riddled with allegations of corruption, conspiracies and abuse of power.
His long-time foe Lim Kit Siang claimed that Mahathir is anxious over the prospect of Pakatan Rakyat forming the next government as the hammer of justice would come down hard on him.
It is because of this, the DAP leader charged, the 84-year-old former premier is working overtime to ensure that the opposition bloc, led by his nemesis Anwar Ibrahim, does not come into power.
Mahathir retaliated in his trademark manner, saying that Lim would relish witnessing him being dragged to court or even sentenced to death.
“No doubt he is inspired by what happened to Gadaffi and Mubarak.
“He would love to see me dragged to the courts and sentenced to death or to at least a life sentence. Maybe like Gadaffi I would be murdered,” he added in his blog.
However, Mahathir conceded being gripped with fear but for different reasons. Once again, without naming Anwar, the ex-premier trained his guns on his former heir.
“I am afraid of the kind of abuse of power that has already been shown by one of Pakatan’ s great leaders who got a senior police officer to frighten Dr Ristina [Majid] and Ummi Hafilda into withdrawing Ummi’s letter to me.
“I am afraid of the fabrication of charges so as to put me behind bars. That I am innocent would be irrelevant. What is important is Kit Siang’s satisfaction at seeing me behind bars and more,” he said.
Ironically, Anwar had accused Mahathir and his confidants of fabricating the sodomy charge against him in 1998 which eventually led to the former’s dismissal from government.
‘I have never abused power’
Apart from this, Mahathir wrote that he was not afraid since he had been careful not to abuse the power he possessed when being prime minister.
Since a Mahathir response would be incomplete without wit and sarcasm, the former premier, in claiming that his hands were clean, admitted eating some of the fruits given to him in order not to let them turn bad.
“I was mindful of having to step down and lose power at some stage. If I had abused power, my detractors would gleefully expose me and strive to put me behind bars,” he added.
In fact, he said, certain quarters had tried this and since his retirement he had been questioned by the police and the AG’s office several times.
“I was also made to appear before a tribunal to be questioned by all and sundry, including representatives of the Bar Council. So far nothing could be pinned on me,” he added.
Mahathir said even now he is open to investigations as to whether he received illegal gratifications, detained people for personal reasons or benefited from the projects carried out during his tenure.
“I have not taken anything that is not mine. In fact all gifts given to me, many very valuable, have been given to the government including a score of expensive cars.
“They can be seen in Langkawi or at the old PM’s house in KL. I must admit that I ate some of the fruits given to me to prevent them from going bad,” he added.
Mahathir said he forbade his children from doing business with the government or to be candidates in elections though there were such offers when he was prime minister and president of Umno.
“Only after I stepped down did I allow Mukhriz to contest (in the general election),” he said.
The former premier also claimed that his current bank balance resulted from his savings as a government servant for three decades.
“My salaries were not big. But the government took care of my housing, water and electricity, my travels. I don’t even spend much on food as I get invitations to functions like weddings etc. I was therefore able to save my pay and allowances,” he said.
Except for his son Mirzan, Mahathir said that his other children did not receive scholarships.
“I believe Mirzan paid back what he owed MARA. He had the scholarship before I became a minister, in fact when I was expelled from Umno,” he added.
As for owning shares, Mahathir said that he purchased 200 Malayan Tobacco shares long before he joined the government.
“Other shares are unit trusts issued by PNB and state governments which I was obliged to buy. I own shares in Mico pharmacy in Alor Star which I set up when I was a private practitioner.
“I am not interested in getting rich or living a life of luxury.
“What I have now is far more than what I had hoped for when I was dreaming as a student. I am grateful to Allah for what I have and for sparing me to live this long,” he added.
Mahathir also said that he was prepared to depart “when the time comes” and was aware that his possessions would not accompany him to the grave.
“But for as long as I can, I would work hard to prevent evil people and crooks from destroying this country that I love,” he added.
‘I don’t wish to see him jailed’
In his blog, the veteran DAP politician wrote that it was “unworthy and dishonourable” of Mahathir to accuse him of possessing such a macabre intention.
“I do not know whether Mahathir is becoming a victim of a very fevered imagination, to the extent that he could imagine and blog that I would want him to end up like Gadaffi or Mubarak.
“Nothing is furthest from my mind but I forgive Mahathir for these wild and preposterous imaginings,” he added.
However, the DAP leader said Mahathir must answer for the infamous financial scandals under his watch and also how key national institutions were compromised and subverted to serve the behests of one man, the prime minister.
“Mahathir has claimed innocence to any abuse of power in his 22 years as prime minister. It is for him to prove his case to the nation, future generations and history,” he added.