'I'm stuck between father and leader'

'I'm stuck between father and leader'
Kedah chief minister Mukhriz Mahathir.
PHOTO: ST

Kedah chief minister Mukhriz Mahathir has lashed out at critics who claimed his father, former Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, was the mastermind behind the attacks alleging Prime Minister Najib Razak had embezzled funds from state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

"Talk of how my father was involved with editing facts or e-mails do not arise at all. This is a very unfair allegation," Mr Mukhriz said in his speech at a break fast function on Sunday evening.

Last week, Mr Najib accused Dr Mahathir of working with foreigners to suggest that he had taken 1MDB funds for personal gain, reported liberal news portal Malaysiakini.

ULTIMATUM

The prime minister had issued an ultimatum after accusing Dr Mahathir of masterminding the criticism against him.

Said Mr Najib: "Those who continue to mount these attacks should be prepared to face the consequences of their actions. These gutter tactics - in some cases, criminal tactics - to overthrow the government will fail."

He made the claim against Dr Mahathir following the arrest of former PetroSaudi International employee Xavier Andre Justo, who was arrested by Thai authorities for attempting to blackmail his former employer.

Mr Mukhriz dismissed claims that his father had any links to Mr Justo.

"And now the latest (allegation) involves Justo, who was said to have tampered with documents and that my father is involved.

"This allegation is far from the truth and I hope this matter won't be prolonged," he said. "If there are quarters who feel that it is unfair to make baseless allegations against our leadership, it is also unfair to make such allegations against my father."

Explaining his father's criticism of Mr Najib's leadership, he said: "But when it comes to the truth, when it comes to uniting the party, I believe these things are the reasons my father has come out with such rough statements."

Mr Mukhriz said he was caught between his father and Mr Najib, reported liberal news portal Malaysian Insider.

"I'm stuck between two big figures in the country - one is my leader, another is my father. So you can imagine how I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place."

Meanwhile, Mr Najib's younger brother, Mr Nazir Abdul Razak, said in a post on Instagram that Malaysia was in the "darkest of political times".

Calling for unity, Mr Nazir, who heads CIMB, Malaysia's second-largest banking group, said: "We must remember to place the country and the rakyat (people) first. Not personal loyalties. Not even party politics."


This article was first published on July 7, 2015.
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