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Mahathir on why the world does not respect Malaysia

 | April 21, 2017

Former prime minister says in the era of the internet, everyone knows the real picture in the country, despite glowing reports in the ‘controlled’ media.


KUALA LUMPUR: How can the world respect Malaysia when there is much that is wrong under the current administration, Dr Mahathir Mohamad asks in his latest blog post.

Saying Prime Minister Najib Razak wanted the world to respect Malaysia, the former prime minister listed out some of the reasons why the world would be unable to respect the nation.

Foremost among this, he said, was the level of corruption in the country. The world, he said, had labelled Malaysia as one of the ten most corrupt countries in the world.

Among the graft-related issues was the unresolved 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal, including the loss of billions of ringgit and the Swiss attorney-general saying he was not given cooperation by the Malaysian attorney-general in investigations into 1MDB.

“Then there is the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) in the PM’s private account,” he said, referring to money deposited into Najib’s accounts. Najib has been cleared of any wrongdoing in this by Attorney-General Apandi Ali, who said it was a gift from Saudi royalty.

Mahathir said declaring some of the reports on investigations by local agencies as official secrets was difficult for the world to accept.

“The world is aware of the sackings of auditors by 1MDB and that there has been no auditing of 1MDB over the last two years.

“These facts are known to the world. Malaysians will know more. They know that the Malaysian government is highly indebted, is in deficit, is unable to meet budget allocations.

“They know of the high level of corruption in the government. They laugh at the orchestrated shows of support for the prime minister. And they know of the huge sums of money received by BN members of Parliament to ensure their loyalty.

“They know of the depreciation of the ringgit, the high cost of living and the fall in their living standards.”

Mahathir said the “controlled media” might make glowing reports about Malaysia’s economy but the world knew that Malaysians were suffering in terms of the economy and high levels of unemployment, and that they were living in fear of harassment by government agencies.

“In this world of easy communications and the internet, what Malaysians know will also be known to the rest of the world. Hence the question asked of Malaysians when abroad. Where before there was admiration for Malaysia’s achievement, now foreigners ask Malaysians, ‘What is happening to your country?’ Clearly they know that things are going wrong in Malaysia.

“But Najib seems to demand that the world respect Malaysia. What is there for the world to respect about Malaysia?” he asked.


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