Dr M questions culture of secrecy

Dr M questions culture of secrecy
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - Answer criticism with proof, and don't claim everything is a secret, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former prime minister urged 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to provide proof when it said he was mistaken in his criticism of the Government investment arm.

"To all my criticisms, 1MDB can only say that they are all wrong. But there is no proof given. The answer is always about secrecy of Government matters," said Dr Mahathir on his blog chedet.cc. on Thursday.

Dr Mahathir questioned why there was no Cabinet paper on the RM5bil loan made by the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).

"Produce the paper for the public to see. Of course you will say Cabinet papers are secret," said Dr Mahathir.

"If the loan is not off-budget then show in the Government yearly budget provision for raising the loans. There is none," he said.

Dr Mahathir said that there was written evidence about the Golden Sachs 30-year bond issue.

"Show that Golden Sachs or Ambank did not impose high interest rate and 10 per cent commission on the loan. Don't just say it is a secret," he said.

He said the interest on the loan would amount to RM2.4bil (S$8.6mil) per year over a period of 30 years.

"Can 1MDB pay that amount? Borrowing money to pay interest does not reduce the principal. It only increases the debt," he said.

Dr Mahathir said more information should be given on the amount being paid out. But, he said; "It is confidential -secret".

He also spoke about the purchase of thirteen power plants by 1MDB for RM18bil, an amount he claims was RM3bil too much.

"If they are good assets, why cannot they be listed?" he asked.

Dr Mahathir also said that the Government lost out on making a profit when it sold land to 1MDB.

"When 1MDB sells the land, it is merely taking what should be Government earnings from the sale.

"That process is no different from people who sell APs, contracts and licence. Is this how 1MDB expects to make money?" said Dr Mahathir.

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