Najib tried to bribe me, says Mahathir

Najib tried to bribe me, says Mahathir
PHOTO: Reuters

As Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak delivered a fiery speech at the UMNO annual assembly on Thursday (Dec 10), his estranged mentor, former Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad has shot another salvo at his protege - this time accusing him of bribery.

Refuting Najib's allegation that "I do not support him is because I do not get what I asked for," Mahathir said in his blog, chedet, on Wednesday that issues like his proposals regarding the 'crooked bridge' and electrified double track from Johor Bahru to Padang Besar were old issues.

"Najib used to come to see me to ask me what I wanted. I thought he was sincere, and I mentioned several development projects for the nation," the elder statesman said.

"Then I realised he was trying to bribe me this way so that I do not bring up the question of 1MDB."

This is not the first time Mahathir has insinuated Najib of bribery. In October, Mahathir said that the debt-ridden state-owned company 1MDB was created for purposes of bribery. In September, Mahathir also levelled bribery accusations at Najib, saying he had been bribing all Umno MPs and divisional chiefs.

Mahathir again emphasised that the 1MDB and donations to Najib's personal account controversies was the straw that broke the camel's back.

"Never in the history of independent Malaysia, has the Prime Minister of Malaysia so much money. For whatever purpose the Prime Minister should not have RM2.6 billion (S$855.2 million).

"What is clear is that even without so much money, BN and UMNO has won so many times better than Najib in 13th General Election. It is not money that brought victory. It is service to the people and sincerity of intentions that gave victory to the party," Mahathir wrote.

Najib revealed on Tuesday that the donors, who are allegedly from the Middle East, wanted to 'gift' him the money as thanks for Malaysia's counter-terrorism efforts and to keep Umno in power, and instructed Najib to open a bank account.

Speaking to TV3 in his Tuesday interview, Najib said: "So there is no intention at all to cheat or to commit an offence because Bank Negara had been notified about the existence of this account.

"But do not be confused. The account is in my name, but it is not like a personal account."

Mahathir slammed his revelation as unconvincing.

"Just show documentary evidence of the approval by Bank Negara of the RM2.6 billion and Najib will be believed," he wrote.

Besides questioning 1MDB's investment choices, Mahathir also said that Najib was damaging the image of the nation.

"If there is anyone who is damaging the image of the nation, it must be Dato Sri Najib himself. Before this the image of the country has been good."

grongloh@sph.com.sg

 

 

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