PETALING JAYA: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad took a jab at Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, suggesting he is an unworthy candidate for the prime minister’s seat and has “nowhere to go” from his present post as deputy prime minister.
In his latest blog entry today, Mahathir responded to Zahid’s call for him to lay the issue of the RM2.6 billion political donation to rest and said, “I think Zahid needs to move on more than I do. But unfortunately, he has nowhere to go.
“When his name was mistakenly mentioned as a possible successor to Najib, there was an uproar as the free citizens of Malaysia voiced their rejection,” Mahathir said.
In the same post, Mahathir also claimed that it was the Malaysian media that had misinterpreted the statement by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir pertaining to the donation that was channelled into the private accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak before the 13th General Election.
Pointing out that this statement was available on video, Mahathir said the reporter had asked Al-Jubeir if he was “aware of the background and details” of the donation, to which the foreign minister had replied in the affirmative, saying, “We are aware of the donation and it is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return.”
Mahathir also said Al-Jubeir replied he was aware of the Attorney-General’s decision to clear Najib of all wrongdoing and for ordering the matter of the donation closed.
“Being aware of the statements of the AG does not mean he (Al-Jubeir) agreed with the statement,” Mahathir argued, adding that the AG’s stance was common knowledge to many people around the world.
He argued further that if all these individuals were asked if they believed the AG’s many statements regarding the RM2.6 billion donation and the PM’s freedom to do with it as he chose fit, their answer would be “No, they don’t believe.”
Mahathir said at no point in the video did Al-Jubeir retract his earlier statement (that the money was for investment), or declare that the money was a donation.
“Nor did he say he has now found new evidence that it was a donation.
“All he said was that he is aware when asked whether he was aware. He did not apologise or negate his previous statement made two months earlier to the New York Times.
“It is the Malaysian media which interpreted his awareness as a negation of his previous statement,” said Mahathir.