I read today of a new NGO which has offered a reward of up to RM1 million for information about the wrongdoings of Tun Dr. Mahathir during his 22 years as Prime Minister causing RM100 billion losses to the country from his various financial scandals.
As one of the few who had stood up in and out of Parliament to consistently and persistently criticise and oppose the series of financial scandals and abuses of power during Mahathir’s premiership from 1981 – 2013 – and paying a heavy price of being detained for a second time for 18 months under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang where Guan Eng and I were the first to be detained but the last to be released – I find the report of a RM1 million bounty for information about Mahathir’s wrongdoings both amusing and interesting.
Why wasn’t such a RM1 million bounty offered during Mahathir’s 22-year tenure as Prime Minister from 1981-2003? Was it because such an offeror would find himself in incarceration even before the ink of such an offer could dry?
Why was such a RM1 million bounty offered only 12 years after Mahathir had stepped down as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia? Were they sleeping for the past 12 years and could not pluck up the courage for such a public-spirited offer?
Has the RM1 million bounty any connection with Mahathir’s stepping up of his attacks on Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister of Malaysia, whether on the RM42 billion 1MDF financial scandal or the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, which will bring it within the zone of a proxy war in the escalation of the Najib-Mahathir titanic battle?
Although this new NGO has subsequently said that it will extend its search for Malaysia’s misappropriated funds to include the fifth and sixth Prime Ministers, Tun Abdullah and Datuk Seri Najib Razak, this after-thought elaboration has no credibility whatsoever as it was clearly designed to distract suspicion about its genesis.
What is a very tell-tale sign of its genesis is the NGO’s total trust in the anti-corruption and enforcement institutions, regarding them as pristine organisations to uphold the rule of law and battle corruption particularly in high political places – which is the reserve of those who are walking the cooridors of power today.
The NGO has only itself to blame if its RM1 million bounty spawned speculation as to its bona fides and genesis, as only those who dabble in tens and hundreds of millions and even billions of ringgit, whether as assets or debts, and regard RM1 million as just “loose change”, would think of such gimmicry as a million-ringgit bounty for information about Mahahir’s wrongdoings since the eighties.
There are not many Malaysians in the league of those who dabble in tens and hundreds of millions or even billions of ringgit, and I can think of one such person to fit the bill. I do not know whether my guess is right but all this is in the realm of speculation.
But the millon ringgit bounty has spawned interesting questions, firstly, whether such a NGO is genuinely concerned about promoting a culture of accountability, transparency and integrity, particularly in high public places like the Prime Minister.
Secondly, whether Mahathir will knuckle under such a threat of RM1 million reward for information about his wrongdoings as Prime Minister for 22 years causing RM100 billion losses to Malaysia from his various financial scandals as to pipe down and end his campaign to get Najib to step down as Prime Minister, allegedly to save UMNO and Barsian from downfall in the next general elections.
Will Mahathir now fade from the political scene?
Just before the 13th General Elections on February 23, 2013, I had declared that if Pakatan Rakyat was to capture Putrajaya in the general elections, we should re-open investigation not only on Mahathir’s RM30 billion Bank Negara forex scandal of 1992, there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM100 billion losses suffered by the country in the financial scandals of the 22-year Mahathir era.
I stressed that my objective was not to see Mahathir in jail, but to ensure that there is full accounting for the RM100 billion losses from the financial scandals during the 22-year Mahathir era, a dark era in Malaysian history which saw key national institutions in the country like the Judiciary, the civil service, Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Police, the Anti-Corruption Agency , the Election Commission compromised and subverted to serve the behests of one man, the Prime Minister and from which disaster Malaysia has not yet fully recovered.
I said that it was only with Malaysia accepting not only the “dark” past, but learn the lessons as to how it could happen, that Malaysia can start afresh on a new page – to build a great Malaysian nation which is united, harmonious, competitive, progressive and prosperous.
As much as there should be a full inquiry into the RM100 billion losses as a result of Mahathir’s financial scandals in his 22-year rule, this should not be used as a weapon to “cover up” or condone the current financial scandals under the present Prime Minister.
The way the new NGO presented the issue of the RM100 billion losses from financial scandals in the Mahathir era gives the impression that it is being used as a form of political blackmail to get Mahathir to shut up on Najib’s financial scandals and abuses of power, like RM42 billion 1MDB scandal or the truth about the murder of the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, if he does not want his own financial scandals and wrongdoingsin his 22 years as Prime Minister to be spotlighted.
It is sad to see Malaysian politics going through such twists and contortions, which devalue the noble profession of politics as a vehicle to serve the best interests of the people and nation.
(Speech at Hari Gawai celebrations organised by DAP Johor Jaya in Johor Baru on Saturday, 30th May 2015 at 9 pm)