Mahathir: I had doubts over Zahid’s wealth but no proof

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KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he had doubts over Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s wealth during the latter’s time as Umno Youth chief.

However, Mahathir, who said Zahid had verbally informed him of his wealth, added that he had no proof.

“He explained that his wealth came from his business, but even though I doubted it, I had no proof.

“Now he has to answer where he got so much money.

“A lot of businessmen don’t have that much money. I have never seen so much money,” Mahathir told reporters when asked to comment on the matter today.

In a blog post yesterday, Mahathir recalled how Zahid had declared his assets to him in 1996 when the deputy prime minister was Umno Youth chief.

The former prime minister claimed Zahid had failed to provide a clear answer regarding the his wealth.

Meanwhile, Mahathir, who is also PPBM chairman, said the party would assist its supreme council member who was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to facilitate investigations into the purchase of a hotel in Kuching by a Felda subsidiary three years ago.

He said the man used to serve as a special officer to former Felda chairman Isa Samad.

“We will take steps to protect the interests of the man arrested. We believe he is not involved in this case.

“Furthermore, although he had been with Isa all this while, he quit as he was unhappy,” he told reporters when asked to comment on whether the party would assist the supreme council member.

According to MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad, the man was nabbed at 4am.

Dzulkifli had previously directed that investigation papers be opened as the hotel was allegedly purchased at a price higher than the market price.

In a statement released on July 28, MACC said its investigating teams raided six locations in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching to gather information on the 2014 purchase, before seizing some documents.

MACC said based on early information obtained in the case, Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) was believed to have bought the hotel at a price much higher than the original, causing it to suffer losses amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit.