Report to MACC if BR1M considered a bribe, Mahathir told

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SEPANG: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad should lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if he believes that the government is engaging in a form of bribery by giving 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) to eligible individuals.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said compared to making an open statement, an official report to the MACC would enable the commission to open an investigation paper, detain and prosecute BR1M recipients.

He said in corruption cases, both givers and takers were in the wrong and could be punished under the law.

“To me, whatever that was given by the government to assist the people cannot be regarded as a bribe and on that note, I dare Dr Mahathir to make an official report with the MACC and ask them to investigate.”

Ismail, who is also an Umno supreme council member, cited the case of Tabika Kemas which, without government aid, would result in parents having to fork out at least RM200 so their children could attend kindergartens run by the Community Development Department (Kemas).

“The Social Welfare Department, meanwhile, provides cash aid to the disabled, senior citizens and other target groups. Is this considered bribery too?”

He was speaking to reporters after surveying the first-day new pre-school session at Tabika Kemas Sri Siantan, here, today.

Ismail said Mahathir made the allegation out of anger towards the government, particularly Umno, for failing to give his son Muhkriz a place in the party.

Ismail also said that Mahathir had no right to say that those who performed the haj through the Prime Minister-1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Foundation Special Programme sponsorship, did not achieve “haji mabrur” (divinely accepted haj), as only Allah could make such a determination.

Mahathir, who is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman, had allegedly made the claim at a ceramah at Taman Wira Mergong in Alor Star, Kedah, recently.

Kuala Selangor MP Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim also called on Mahathir to retract his statement and apologise to those who performed the haj under the programme as many were hurt by the allegation.

“The accusation makes it seem as though all the good done by (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not accepted by Allah.

“We do not want all the good deeds of Tun Mahathir to be forgotten due to his excessive questioning of the good done by the BN government.”