One who ‘closes eyes and signs documents’ not fit to be PM

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SHAH ALAM: A prime minister who signs documents without even reading them first should resign because of his “idiocy”, said former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the findings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on embattled state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had shown that many major and incriminating transactions had been approved solely by its adviser Najib Razak, who is also the prime minister, without the knowledge of its board of directors.

This, Mahathir said, was based on Article 117 of 1MDB’s Memorandum and Articles of Association which requires the explicit written endorsement of the prime minister for every single substantial transaction carried out by 1MDB.

“How do we authorise a document? By signing it. When we put our signature on a document, we authorise it.

“But Najib’s lawyer said it (the signing of the document) did not mean the prime minister had approved it. He just signed it. He didn’t know anything that was inside the document, which meant he closed his eyes and signed it.

“How can someone like this be a prime minister? I want to ask Najib, based on his idiocy of signing a document without reading it first, to resign now,” said Mahathir in a forum discussing the PAC’s report on 1MDB, held at the IDCC here last night.

Najib’s lawyer, Hafarizam Harun, was reported to have said on Wednesday that the PM’s signature on 1MDB documents did not necessarily mean that he had knowledge of or had made decisions on 1MDB matters.

Mahathir, speaking to a crowd of over 1,000, also said the PAC report tabled in Parliament last week was only meant to “whitewash” and acquit Najib of all allegations of wrongdoing in 1MDB’s management.

He claimed that the PAC’s recommendation that the firm’s former CEO, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, be held responsible for the company’s shortcomings and be investigated by the relevant authorities, was merely a means of getting Najib off the hook.

“It’s meant to make it easier for us to believe that the report has nothing to do with Najib, and so it named Shahrol as the scapegoat.

“And Shahrol is willing to go to prison because of his love for Najib.”