PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has slammed the United States and Britain for their hypocrisy in condemning corruption in developing countries but who willingly host visits by Prime Minister Najib Razak whose wrongdoings are widely reported by the Western media.
He said the “nose in the air” stand on corruption in developing countries hid their true attitude towards graft.
“Their rejection of corruption stops short at the value of the corruption. If the value is sufficiently high, their principle to reject corruption flies out of the window,” the Pakatan Harapan chairman wrote in his blog today.
His denunciation of the two Western powers came just days after Najib returned from visits to the US and Britain where he met President Donald Trump and premier Theresa May, respectively.
At the White House in Washington, Najib promised Trump Malaysia Airlines would order more Boeing planes worth up to US$10 billion while the Employees Provident Fund and Khazanah Nasional Bhd would be directed to increase their investments in the US.
“We don’t know what Najib offered to buy from Britain. Perhaps the Typhoon fighter jets, one or two squadrons.
He repeated a much-used Western cynicism, “If the price is right, corruption is okay. It’s not okay only if it is done by someone else”.
He said although the Malaysian newspapers and TV did not report on 1MDB, the Western media were strident in their reports, holding nothing back.
“Malaysians believed Western governments, which are so staunch on their stand in fighting the corrupt in the world, would boycott Najib at the least.
“Most disappointingly and shockingly, we instead see the anti-graft champions of the West hosting Najib in their countries and having discussions with him.
“The reason is because Najib offered to buy commercial airliners and weapons from them. What blinded their eyes were the billions of dollars waved before them.
He said it was an empty hope to think the West would act on the 1MDB issue.
“If Malaysians can close their eyes to the crime, then Britain could do likewise,” he added.
“Trump and May say they are only doing business. If Malaysia becomes bankrupt for buying things it doesn’t need, that is Malaysia’s problem. We must look to our own wealth.”