PETALING JAYA: A former senior civil servant has hit out at a pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) organisation for demanding a probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission of scandals linked to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, including Bank Negara’s foreign exchange losses in the 1990s.
G25 member Johan Arriffin Samad, a former deputy director of Sabah Foundation, questioned the timing of the demand, made by Pertubuhan Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM).
“Although any person has the right to demand investigations into anyone, it seems to be an act of retribution against Mahathir for having taking action against Najib Razak,” he told FMT, referring to the prime minister’s decision to have his predecessor investigated over the financial affairs of 1MDB.
“And if anybody wanted to take action against Mahathir, it should have been taken the day he left office or during Najib’s time and not now.”
Mahathir stepped down as prime minister in 2003 after 22 years. He was recently appointed as the country’s seventh PM following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the recent general election.
JMM president Azwanddin Hamzah, along with some 30 supporters, handed over a memorandum to the anti-graft agency today calling for Mahathir to be investigated for corruption and abuse of power.
Azwanddin listed 13 cases, including the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance and Perwaja Steel scandals, the bailout of Malaysia Airlines and buyout of Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad, all of which occurred during the latter’s tenure as prime minister, as well as the “unusual wealth” of Mahathir’s children.
Johan pointed out that these alleged wrongdoings had been discussed openly in various forums and had been investigated by authorities. A Royal Commission of Inquiry was also set up to investigate the forex losses.
He said the accusations were baseless unless they could be proven in court. He dismissed the allegations as “hearsay and mere speculation”.
Johan said no action was taken by Najib’s administration after the royal inquiry concluded. “It shows clearly that it was merely window dressing.”
G25 is a group of mainly retired senior civil servants and academicians seeking political and institutional reforms in Malaysia.