PETALING JAYA: Amanah’s Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad has added his voice to the criticisms against Prime Minister Najib Razak’s politically-charged speech at the InvestMalaysia 2017 conference yesterday, saying it “smacks of desperation”.
Calling his attack against Pakatan Harapan in the presence of some 900 local and foreign business leaders and investors, most unfortunate, Dzulkefly said it seemed to be more the action of a man who was in a state of panic.
“The ‘bare-faced lies and misinformation’ he accused the opposition of having manufactured ‘to damage Malaysia’s economy’ are best rebutted by the conviction of top bank officials in jurisdictions like Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
“The three complaints by the United States Department of Justice say it all. Lest he chooses to suffer selective amnesia again, will the true MO1 please stand up,” Dzulkefly told FMT.
Yesterday, while acknowledging in his speech that there “were lapses in 1MDB’s governance”, Najib took a swipe at the opposition for fanning the flames of the 1MDB issue.
“Let’s not forget that while there were issues in 1MDB, certain politicians blew them out of proportion, in an attempt to topple the government in between election cycles,” Najib had said.
Najib also alluded to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad by saying the government 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.
“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.”
Dzulkefly, who is also Amanah strategic director, said it was ironic that Najib would choose to denounce Mahathir’s legacy.
“After the world has seen how puppet master Jho Low had allegedly embezzled billions of dollars from 1MDB and laundered it to the entire globe, Najib should have exhibited more finesse and decorum.
“Never mind the pernicious corruption and endemic nepotism that have been very recently exposed locally in Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and MARA, to cite a few, and the diversion of public funds from the likes pension fund KWAP and SRC, to cover debt payment gaps,” he said.
Praising Mahathir’s legacy to the country, Dzulkefly said the former prime minister is known to be a strong man and his own man, “unlike Najib”.
“Doubtless, you’re an exact anti-thesis of your former boss.”