PETALING JAYA: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has demanded documentary evidence and refused to accept the Saudi foreign minister’s assurances about a RM2.6 billion donation made to the prime minister, Najib Razak, in 2013.
In a media interview published today, Dr Mahathir was asked about Saudi foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir’s remarks that the donations came from Saudi Arabia and that as far as the Saudis were concerned, the matter had been settled.
Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying: “That’s what he says. Investigations, you need documentary proof. If money is transferred, there must be something written down – the cheques, the records in the bank, the bank that is used.
“A statement alone is not enough. So until I can view the documents, until they are publicised, any statement alone is not going to be believed.”
Although Dr Mahathir has made remarks implying corruption on Najib’s part, he also acknowledged that he had no proof. Asked whether he knew about the allegations while helping in the 2013 general election campaig, he was quoted as saying: “I get reports about corruption all the time. When I ask them, nobody can give me any evidence. All they can say is well ‘we heard’, ‘these are rumours’ and all that.”
“Rumours cannot be sustained in court. I heard about it but I did not have any proof at all,” he said, according to the Malaysiakini interview.
Dr Mahathir has waged a year-long campaign to oust Najib as Umno president and prime minister, relying on allegations of embezzlement of public funds from the government’s investment arm, 1Malaysia Development Bhd.