Friday, April 10, 2015
The heat is getting to be too intense for Najib
In his latest blog posting against Najib, and the third such post in the last two weeks, Mahathir has lambasted people who are jumping in to pledge support for the former, instead of asking him to provide answers to the questions asked.
Following the nonagenarian's first blog posting last week, the Umno camp, as well as BN component party leaders, had almost unanimously supported Najib's leadership, saying there was no need for the premier to answer his predecessor's rantings.
However, only a handful of Umno men, including Khairy Jamaluddin, Daim Zainuddin and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, had echoed Mahathir's sentiments and issued statements that seem to imply that Najib indeed has to answer the questions posed.
Even Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin, who is notorious for his ridiculous remarks in the august House, as well as in the social media, was today quoted as saying that as a Malaysian citizen, Mahathir had the right to pose the questions.
In his blog posting today, Mahathir said "as a result of the exposure regarding the Altantuya case and 1MDB, Najib is now getting pledges of support from Umno division heads, BN, MIC, senators and all kinds of groups. This is what the mainstream press reports.
"I am not asking anybody to support me. But I am going to ask all those who support Najib to declare they all support his 1MDB, its RM42 billion borrowing and his inability to answer where the money is when asked," he posted.
He then questioned the rationale of keeping billions of ringgit in the Cayman Islands, and also to keep it in a Swiss Bank in Singapore after being brought back from there.
"Do you also support the explanation that the money cannot be brought back to Malaysia by the prime minister and minister of finance (also Najib), because Bank Negara will ask too many questions?
"Do you support purchase of government land in KL at far below market price, revaluing it to make it your asset while buying power plants from the private sector at well above market price?" he asked.
The former premier then touched on the suggestion that the land be sold to government companies at inflated prices, in order to pay billions borrowed by 1MDB.
He then reiterated his question on the whereabouts of the RM42 billion borrowed by 1MDB.
"Why must 1MDB borrow RM2 billion to pay the interest? Why must the government make available almost RM1 billion to pay 1MDB's debts?"
"This means 1MDB now has a debt of RM45 billion (42 bil 3 bil)," he stated, adding that Najib's supporters must also support Jho Low who managed 1MDB money, and be his friends, for having so much faith in him.
Mahathir also took a swipe at Najib's unwillingness to take his questions head on.
"I asked Najib simple questions but instead of answering, he asked people to support him. I would also like to ask the supporters whether their support means the disappearance of RM42 billion is okay.
"If you do, go tell Daim, Razeleigh, Shahrir Samad (who reportedly said Najib will answer Mahathir's questions), and Khairy to shut up," he concluded.
Phew, so much "heat". It is not shocking that Najib, who is well known for his silence on matters that need immediate address, is reluctant to engage with firebrand Mahathir.
Perhaps Najib knows that once he slugs it out with Mahathir, there is no turning back. His so-called answers would probably be turned into bigger questions by Mahathir, who is well known for eloquence and no-nonsense attitude.
I don't know about you, but I'm definitely grabbing a pack of popcorn to watch this drama unfold into something bigger. I believe we can all readily agree that the Mahathir-Najib bout has just entered Round Two – and with more rounds expected to come.