PUTRAJAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a man without principles, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today, as he recounted a time when the former prime minister himself was against public demonstrations.
Pointing to the October mega rally planned by the opposition coalition, Zahid said the former prime minister had been steadfast in opposing such events previously.
“Now that he’s on the other side, he’s the main organiser. But if a person (who changes his stance) when he’s now in a different situation, in a different time, then that person has no principles.
“A person who has principles, wherever he is and whether he still has a position or not, would not change his principles,” Zahid, who is also home minister said at a press conference here today.
He also said that the Barisan Nasional-led government doesn’t feel threatened by the rally which Mahathir said would draw tens of thousands of opposition supporters.
Zahid said there was no reason to feel threatened as the “silent majority” would not be participating in the rally.
“And we hope the silent majority will continue supporting the ruling government.”
PH’s anti-kleptocracy rally will be held on Oct 14, at Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya.
The mega rally is being planned as the culmination of a nationwide roadshow campaign by the opposition coalition, to explain to the people about the alleged embezzlement of funds from 1MDB, and the actions taken by the United States Department of Justice.
Asked if the government would allow this rally to take place, Zahid, who is also the home minister, said only if the organisers meet the requirements under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.
“Any assembly is subjected to the PAA. If they meet the requirements, the government, especially the home ministry, will be open to allowing it.
“But if they don’t, then the rally won’t be allowed.”
The nationwide campaign, dubbed “Sayangkan Malaysia Hapuskan Kleptokrasi” (Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy), began on July 6 in Kepala Batas, Penang, and will end with the mega rally.
It aims to ensure the claims made in the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil lawsuits related to 1MDB are made known to the people.
In its court filing in California on June 5, the DoJ sought to seize US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets, including art works, jewellery, a luxury yacht and film rights purchased with funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.
The assets named in the applications included the film rights to the two comedies “Dumb and Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey and “Daddy’s Home” featuring Will Ferrell.
The action follows last July’s civil forfeiture suit by the DoJ which sought to recover all the assets including but not limited to the Park Lane Hotel in New York, a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills, condominiums in New York, a private jet and expensive works of art, as well as finances related to Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
If the rally does indeed go ahead, it wouldn’t be the first time a gathering linked to the state investment fund was held.
In August last year, the “Tangkap MO1” rally was organised at Dataran Merdeka by a coalition of student and youth groups. The rally saw some 1,000 participants call for the arrest of “MO1” named in the first DoJ civil suit linked to 1MDB.