Look who’s talking, says Zaid of Najib’s claim of fighting cronyism

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PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim said Prime Minister Najib Razak’s veiled criticism of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s legacy at an investment seminar was ironic when he suggested that the former leader’s administration was riddled with “corruption and nepotism”.

“My god, look who is talking,” the former law minister told FMT in a text message.

“Is not Najib the best legacy that came out of that sewer?”

In his keynote speech at the Invest Malaysia 2017 event attended by some 900 local and foreign business leaders, Najib took a swipe at opposition parties for questioning his economic policies.

He said his policies would no longer tolerate “crony capitalism”.

“I say to you now that under this Government, we are cracking down on crony capitalism. No more sweetheart deals. No more national follies kept going to stroke the ego of one man,” said Najib, who has frequently hit out at Mahathir without mentioning him by name.

“No more treating national companies as though they were personal property. Because it is the people who suffer, and we will not tolerate a few succeeding – and not on their own merits – while the many are denied opportunities, all for the interests of a selfish few.”

Zaid said Najib’s speech was typical, adding that the Umno president was always “masterful when he talks to himself”.

“He always says how bad and hopeless the opposition are.

“But he will not accept a debate or a discussion with any opposition leaders. No serious investor will be persuaded by a self-gratifying leader,” Zaid said.

On Saturday, Mahathir invited Najib to attend a forum next month called “Nothing to Hide 2.0” organised by his party PPBM’s Youth wing, saying it would provide the Umno president the opportunity to clear his name.

“He can say I am not guilty, I have done no wrong, and show evidence that he has done no wrong. For my part, I will say he has done something wrong, I have evidence,” said Mahathir.

“But he can explain and clear his name. We’re giving him a good chance and he should be very grateful,” said the former prime minister.