Mahathir: Bad economy, so I wanted to sell off bakery

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he would not have thought of selling his bakery franchise The Loaf, if the country’s economy was in better shape and if it was not under the leadership of Najib Razak.

It was reported that Mahathir had said he decided to sell the franchise to help fund his party’s election campaign, but that he could not find a buyer and, therefore, decided to close it down.

Today, Mahathir said under Najib’s leadership many big business were suffering and had to close down, not just his bakery.

“It would be better if Najib was no longer the prime minister and if the economy improved. Maybe then The Loaf would manage to sustain itself,” he said during a press conference at the PPBM headquarters here today.

The Loaf, which opened its first outlet in Langkawi in 2006, ceased operation on April 12.

Mahathir had recently revealed that one prospective buyer was approached by income tax officers who “demanded that he should pay a lot of taxes” for the purchase of the franchise.

Najib responded to the closure saying Mahathir had a penchant for faulting everyone but himself, after the former premier reportedly blamed the government for The Loaf’s closure. Najib denied it was the government’s fault.

This led other BN leaders to get on the bandwagon, including MIC treasurer-general Vell Paari who ridiculed Mahathir’s desire to “save Malaysia” within 100-days if he took over Putrajaya in the general election when he “couldn’t even save his bakery of 12-years from bankruptcy”.

Meanwhile, commenting on reports that almost 4,000 PPBM members from Alor Mengkudu had left the party to join Umno, Mahathir said it was expected as “Umno has lots of money and they are giving it to people to support them”.

He added: “We are aware they have lots of money as we can see the amount of flags they have put up to gather support. In Langkawi, one committee member has already been bought over and we expect this trend to continue until nomination day.

“We know we will lose these people, but we have a contingency plan for this situation. But we can’t reveal it here today.”