SHAH ALAM: The apology made by Supermax Corp Bhd managing director Stanley Thai to the prime minister for supporting the opposition in the last general election is just a political gimmick, says Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.
He questioned the timing of the latex glove tycoon’s apology to Najib Razak in the run-up to the 14th general election.
“Why did he (Thai) express regret only yesterday? Why not last year?
“This is just a political gimmick.
“It is most unfortunate that even corporate figures can be pressured and threatened by the Barisan Nasional (BN),” he said after attending a goodwill gathering with administrators of schools of various mediums here today.
Last Saturday, Thai said he had been influenced by opposition propaganda to get involved in GE13 and regretted it.
He said he realised it was wrong for him, as a businessman, to get involved in politics.
Besides the apology to Najib, Thai also criticised the Selangor government’s management of water supply which he blamed for holding up the operations of two Supermax plants in the state.
Eight of the company’s 11 plants are located in Selangor.
Late last year, Thai was sentenced by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to a five-year jail term and RM5 million fine for insider trading offences related to Supermax unit, APL Industries Bhd (APLI).
Thai is appealing against the sentence.
On a separate matter, Azmin dismissed criticisms that he was following BN’s practice of doling out handouts to voters ahead of the election.
“The difference (between me and Najib) is that we are doing it openly and transparently. All the contributions were approved by the state assembly and the allocations are included in the budget.
“In Najib’s case, he announced handouts to taxi drivers, but who had approved them? Parliament didn’t approve it, and neither did the cabinet.
“The increase in 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) was also not brought to Parliament. This should be criticised.”
Asked on speculations he might not defend his parliamentary seat of Gombak, Azmin said he left the final decision to the party.
“I have many offers, among them Pekan and Bagan Datuk,” he quipped, referring to the seats held by Najib and his deputy, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi respectively.