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Lawyer: IRB action against Mahathir’s sons to frighten supporters

 | August 11, 2017

The raids, conducted on the same day that the RCI into forex losses began, says lawyer Haniff Khatri, show the government wants to instil fear in the minds of opposition supporters, especially businessmen.

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PETALING JAYA: The simultaneous raids that the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) conducted on the offices of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s three sons have been questioned for their timing.

This is especially so with the elections looming on the horizon, and the commencement of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the multi-billion ringgit losses incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia through foreign exchange trading in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“The raids were done on the same day (Tuesday) and that is more than just a coincidence,” Dr Mahathir’s lawyer, Haniff Khatri told FMT.

“They also took place on the first day of the RCI against Tun (Dr Mahathir), which we all know is a tool for the government to go after him.

“All these point to one thing: that the government is shifting to the fourth gear, and is using the scare tactic against opposition supporters and sympathisers.”

FMT reported yesterday that companies led by Dr Mahathir’s three sons, Mokhzani, Mukhriz, and Mirzan, were raided by the IRB on the same day, and at the same time. This was confirmed by their sister, social activist Marina Mahathir.

The three companies, according to a source FMT spoke to, were Kencana Capital Sdn Bhd, Opcom Holdings Berhad and Crescent Capital Sdn Bhd.

Haniff said the BN government now realised it was losing the support of the public, especially with the opposition being at its strongest with Dr Mahathir leading the charge.

Hence the questionable legal actions against the 92-year-old and those close to him, said Haniff.

“They know there are many sympathisers of the opposition, and those who are against the government.

“So they want to make these sympathisers, including businesspersons, fear giving any form of support for activities that are against the government.

“Closer to elections, the government will shift to the fifth and final gear, which is to arrest those they know are influential in the fight against them.”

Former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief, Khairuddin Abu Hassan, expressed the same view. He said the government was trying to exert pressure on Dr Mahathir, who has, for the last couple of years, been very vocal against Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“Of course this will affect Dr Mahathir to an extent. These are his children. So no matter how strong Tun is, he will be worried about his sons’ future.

“The IRB was sent to go after his sons just to divert his attention. BN is very desperate now, as this is a matter of life or death for them.”

But, Khairuddin said, if the government thought these legal actions would play to their benefit, then they are “gravely mistaken”.

Khairuddin, along with Mahathir and five others, had formed PPBM, a new political outfit that aims to chip away Umno’s support. Dr Mahathir is its chairman.

“Their move was predictable. It’s a typical way to pressure the opponents and the public can see this clearly.

“Now everyone is talking about the IRB raids, questioning the real reason for it, and why the same action wasn’t taken against those linked to 1MDB.”

Marina, speaking to FMT yesterday morning, expressed disbelief that the simultaneous raids were “just a coincidence”.

“Or that they are just doing their job,” she added.


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