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KUALA NERANG – The statement by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad denying he had ever met United States officials over 1Malaysia Development Berhad is most doubtful, said UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
He said this was because Dr Mahathir’s two senior aides, Mathias Chang and Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, had talked of a trip to the United States in relation to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Chang was a political secretary to Dr Mahathir while Khairuddin is the former Batu Kawan UMNO vice-chief.
“Although Tun M (Dr Mahathir) denies any knowledge, the fact that his senior aides had been there indicates that he also knows of the matter.
“There are certain groups trying to undermine the credibility of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and UMNO, especially with the next general election close at hand,” he said to reporters after the handing over of Aidilfitri goodies by Padang Terap UMNO Division deputy chief Datuk Ghazali Ibrahim here today.
Mahdzir was commenting on the statement by Dr Mahathir reported by a news portal that he had never met any US official on the matter.
This came in the wake of the announced move by the DoJ to seize US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) of assets allegedly belonging to 1MDB. – BERNAMA
PETALING JAYA – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) may be “forced to consider” being prime minister again if such a plan is proposed by his friends in the Opposition.
In a live question-and-answer session hosted on his official Facebook page, the former prime minister answered five questions, two of which related to a possible return to premiership.
Titled #HangTanyaCheDetJawab (You Ask, Che Det Answers), Dr Mahathir was asked if he would agree to take on the role of prime minister if asked by the rakyat themselves.
“I cannot ignore my friends in Pakatan Harapan.
“If they have such a suggestion and it is agreed upon, then I might be forced to consider. At this time, I don’t agree to be prime minister,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also reminded viewers that he had said he would not become prime minister again when he retired in 2003.
Asked about the role he would take on instead, the 91-year-old said upon retiring, he thought his opinion would at least be sought by the ruling party on certain matters or problems.
This is because he had “lots of experience and knowledge that might be useful”, having served as prime minister for 22 years.
Dr Mahathir also professed himself “ready to take part in discussions to find solutions for problems faced”, if given the chance to offer his opinion after the 14th general election.
Asked what he would do to help the rakyat and the country’s economy if he was “fated to be Prime Minister again”, Dr Mahathir said he had a certain approach to handling problems during his premiership. – The Star Online
KUALA LUMPUR – Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will not be airing the live telecast of a debate between former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the debate, scheduled to take place in Kuala Kangsar, Perak on March 25, was purely between the two persons.
“The debate is not organised by RTM…We don’t have plans to air the live telecast of the debate,” he told a press conference here today.
Yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said his ministry had approved the permit application for the debate after receiving it from the organiser.
The debate, to be held at the Sultan Azlan Shah Mara Junior Science College (MRSM), has been the talk of the town lately as it would touch on issues including the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF).
Meanwhile, Salleh said the act of sabotaging the country’s economy was now a serious matter and a loss to the people.
He said the allegations by the opposition such as Malaysia was now an unstable country, its Employees Provident Fund (EPF) almost gone bankrupt and the government could not afford to pay the salaries of civil servants were irresponsible act.
“The opposition should criticise the government in a constructive manner and based on facts, not for their political mileage as the act of sabotaging the economy will be detrimental to Malaysians as a whole,” Salleh said.
The minister was commenting on the statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday that Malaysia almost lost a huge investment from Saudi Aramco due to the unpatriotic attitude of certain quarters who channelled incorrect information on this country to the Saudi Arabian oil company.
Salleh said members of the public were urged not to trust unverified information on social media and instead, to refer to SEBENARNYA.MY, a one-stop web portal developed to curb the spread of false news and for the public to check on the authenticity of news spread through social media.
“The government is responsible in providing accurate information to its people. The SEBENARNYA.MY portal is one of the government’s initiatives to provide real news to the society in rebutting slanders being spread on the social media,” he said.
In another development, asked on when the government would ban the screening of the film ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the country should Walt Disney not meet the Film Censorship Board’s (LPF) request for a minor cut involving a gay scene, Salleh said LPF had strong grounds to issue the order.
“We’ll wait for the final decision by LPF,” he said.
In the meantime, Salleh advised the public not to make matters worse over the issue of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea by spreading false news on the social media.
He said this was because Kuala Lumpur would negotiate with Pyongyang on the nine Malaysians who were not allowed to leave the republic.
The diplomatic spat between Malaysia and North Korea began with the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13. – BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, press secretary to the Prime Minister, today took to task former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for what he said were the U-turns the latter has made in his perception of matters.
“These U-turns by Mahathir are very strange. … Mahathir is either lying, or he can no longer understand what is fact and what is fabricated,” he said in a statement.
Tengku Sariffuddin said the reality was that Malaysians could not believe anything that he said anymore.
He said Dr Mahathir had been at one time declared an Asian tiger, and that to keep power, he toppled his political opponents.
“He put his deputy prime minister – (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim – in prison because he said the country could not have a prime minister who was homosexual. And he decided that Lim Kit Siang (of DAP) was so dangerous to the Malays that he had him jailed too.
“Now he likes Kit Siang so much that he would allow this de facto leader of the opposition to be DPM (deputy prime minister). And all so that his son (Datuk Seri) Mukhriz can be PM,” he said.
He said: “Once he (Dr Mahathir) said that Kit Siang is dangerous to the Malays, but apparently now he is not dangerous. Once he said sodomy is a crime, but apparently now it is acceptable. Is the tiger getting confused in his old age?”
He said Dr Mahathir’s words had become embarrassing for all to hear and suggested that “the old tiger would serve himself and his nation better by retiring quietly”.
Tengku Sariffuddin also drew attention to a recent speech by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, questioning Dr Mahathir’s remarks.
He said that in a recent post on his blog, Dr Mahathir wrote that Malaysia was one of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world.
“In fact, in Transparency International’s latest list, Malaysia is the 55th least corrupt country in the world.
“So Mahathir is either lying or he can no longer understand what is fact and what is fabricated. Otherwise why would he say Malaysia is in the top 10 most corrupt countries when it is in the top three least corrupt countries?” he said. – BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR – Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has advised Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to heed what Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has said.
He said the fact the sultan was forced to rebuke Dr Mahathir when he gave the latter the worst-ever dressing down, showed the former prime minister had gone beyond the boundary of decency.
In the latest posting on his blog sskeruak.blogspot.my. last night, Salleh said this was not the first time Dr Mahathir had been given an earful by Sultan Ibrahim.
“Dr Mahathir now appears unable to separate his personal grudge from the interest of the nation.
“He has brought ridicule upon himself and has only himself to blame for it,” he added.
Earlier today, Sultan Ibrahim reminded politicians from outside Johor against interfering in the state’s affairs to confuse and disunite the people.
Kelantan Deputy Chief Minister Nik Amar Abdullah speaks during an interview with Reuters at government offices in Kota Bharu, in the northern coastal state of Kelantan, April 6, 2015. Feuding over an Islamic penal code that stipulates stoning for adultery and amputation for theft has put a spotlight on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's struggle to secure the majority Muslim vote and fend off attacks on his leadership. The 'hudud' controversy was triggered by the Islamist party that rules Kelantan. Parti Islam se-Malaysia's (PAS) push to have 'hudud' recognized under federal law, so it can be implemented in Kelantan, risks splitting the national opposition coalition to which it belongs: an already wobbly three-party alliance. To match story MALAYSIA-POLITICS/ISLAM Picture taken April 6, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
KOTA BHARU – PAS vice president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah today reminded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed not to adopt the ‘good cop, bad cop” attitude in trying to forge a collaboration between the two opposition parties.
He said this attitude by the former prime minister would not help win over PAS to join the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition.
“The approach and statements made by Tun Dr Mahathir is not helping. If want to discuss then discussion is the way to go. It should not be wanting to shake hands and at the same time want to deliver a punch,” the Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar told reporters after the weekly state executive council meeting here today.
Dr Mahathir, who is trying to forge a single opposition coalition to take on the Barisan Nasional in the next general election, has given the Islamic party a month to decide whether it wants to come on board Pakatan Harapan.
In response, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had said the deadline was not necessary as there was no way the party would join Pakatan Harapan as long as it enemies DAP and PAS splinter Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) were in it.
However, Dr Mahathir had insisted that PAS reconsider saying that it (PAS) would not be able to go it alone in the GE. – BERNAMA
PETALING JAYA – DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang’s silence over the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF) scandal is proof that his political wings have been clipped by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Former DAP vice chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said it was weird that Kit Siang who was once highly vocal of Dr Mahathir regarding the multi-billion scandal had opted to remain silent as now that both of them were in Pakatan Harapan.
Surprisingly, the man who was once angry over BMF – Carrian affair and had two books published in 1983 and in 1986 denouncing Mahathir, is totally silent as if he has lost the fire in his belly, he told a press conference here.
United States’s Central Intelligence Agency had recently released declassified documents stating that the Malaysian government under Malaysia’s longest-ruling Prime Minister had a hand in the largest financial scandal the country had seen during the 1980s.
In response to that, Dr Mahathir had written in his blog, among others stating that the documents were aimed at demonising him as he had criticised the US, while Lim was reported by the media to have said that there was nothing new to the scandal.
Noting that Kit Siang in a news report recently had also said that his position on the scandal remained as what he wrote in his two books, he urged Lim to declare his stand on the financial issue, for the sake of transparency.
On the DAP and PAS relationship, Tunku Abdul Aziz advised PAS to be careful with the DAP.
“We know why DAP wants a relationship with PAS and PKR because they want Malay support that is the sole purpose, forget all this talk about saving Malaysia, you can save Malaysia without supporting DAP, but the question is saving Malaysia from whom?” he added.- BERNAMA
Mahathir’s arrogant reply to Sultan of Johor betrays that his economic outlook is still stuck in the past.
He continues to demand that investments in Manufacturing is what is needed even though manufacturing investments normally provides lower income jobs that are now majority filled by migrant workers.
He continues to ignore the Services sector, which developed economies know is essential to higher-value jobs.
Mahathir seems to be stuck in “developing country” mode rather than to be a developed country – a key reason why Malaysia was stuck in the middle-income trap for so long due to this policies.
Mahathir continues to say that manufacturing investments will provide jobs for locals.
However, the problem with this is that we no longer have an unemployment problem. In fact, due to reliance on cheap labour, manufacturing requires huge amount of foreign workers.
Walk into any factory in Malaysia and you will see that the majority are foreign workers nowadays.
As very evident in Mahathir’s thinking, Malaysians are still “low-cost labour” to him.
This is why since 2009, the Najib govt’s focus was to put greater emphasis on developing the services sector – rather than just the manufacturing sector,
Manufacturing investments are not ignored and still heavily promoted but with an emphasis on higher value and automated manufacturing. Various incentive are still offered to them.
As you can see from the graph below, manufacturing investments are still strong – and much higher than Mahathir’s era.
But a new focus is on the services industry and services exports. Services are now the biggest sector and comprised 53.9% of our GDP in 2015. In a sign of success, our services sector exports continue to grow with RM135 billion recorded that year.
In the USA, the services sector comprises 80% of their GDP and 81% of their employment.
As you can from the graph, the services sector investments have grown dramatically since 2009 and have now overtaken the manufacturing sector.
This is where the future of Malaysia lies – high value knowledge-based services jobs filled by locals.
Not low-value manufacturing jobs filled by foreigners as promoted by Mahathir.
Also, Mahathir is wrong to accuse the Johor Sultan of “selling the country” as that Forest City land is fully to be reclaimed and is not even land now. So how can you say sell Malaysia?
After reclamation, it would just add to the size of Johor and its sovereign area.
[11:35, 1/17/2017] +60 19-231 0515: Mahathir picked the wrong Sultan and the wrong state to attack.
Anyone who has been to Johor in the past few years will not fail to notice the rapid economic development there.
It is also not true that Johor is neglecting manufacturing investments as implied by Mahathir.
Johor has been number one in attracting manufacturing investments among all states every year since 2013, It was also second in 2012 and 3rd highest in 2011.
This is why the median household income for Johor grew 76% from 2009 to 2014 and has now overtaken Penang. Johor was also top for median average salary increase from 2010 to 2015 and also overtook Penang during this period.
Land is a state issue and Johor has very strict land laws on foreign ownership and Malay reserve land status.
On top of Federal initiatives such as PR1MA to cater to the middle class, Johor also has very attractive low-cost and affordable housing plans and policies.
Since 2013, the Johor government has required developers to have 40% of residential properties in their projects to come under the affordable-housing scheme, from previous quotas ranging from 20% to 35%.
The Johor Government will meet its target of providing at least 60,000 units of affordable houses to people in the state by 2020 and there is good progress with 6,430 units completed at end 2016, bringing the total number completed since 2014 to 10,061 units.
Mahathir’s action to continue to attack foreign investments and development of the services sector in favour of manufacturing is directly sabotaging the economy in an era of uncertain global economy and also sabotaging govt’s plans to move to raise the income levels of Malaysians and achieve developed status for Malaysia.
For selfish political reasons, Mahathir is undermining the welfare and livelihoods of 3.5 million Johor people.
Bertaubat lah Mahathir.
Would you still be complaining if the Forest City was given to your cronies or your sons to develop instead?
PEKAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a “U-turn champion” for his changed stance on the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).
Najib said the former prime minister had stated that BR1M was bribery and wrong in the eyes of the law on Dec 26 last year.
“Now, just three weeks later, he has changed his mind and has performed a U-turn. Looking at his actions lately, Dr Mahathir is doing a lot of U-turns.
“We can deem him as a U-turn champion. He is prone to actions that contradict his own previous stance,” Najib told reporters after presenting awards to excellent students and teachers at the UPSR and PT3 exams here yesterday.
On Saturday, Dr Mahathir, who is chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), said BR1M would be maintained if his party wins the next general election.
Dr Mahathir said, however, it would have to be made into a statutory aid determined by law and the budget.
Najib said the Government did not regard BR1M as bribery as similar aid was also presented by the governments of Penang and Selangor.
“Even when Dr Mahathir was prime minister, he dispensed special cash aid in Terengganu. If you look at PPBM’s website, it is written there they are willing to assist those who want to apply for BR1M,” he said.
Najib added that PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had also defended BR1M when he was still in Umno.
Najib said BR1M should not be used as political material because the targeted subsidy was a more efficient way of helping those who needed aid.
“The criterion to qualify for the aid is only income level. It has nothing to do with anyone’s political leanings,” he said.
On PPBM’s election promise of replacing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Najib said this was not grounded in reality as GST contributed a large sum of revenue to the Government.
“They are playing to sentiments when they are not taking reality into account at all. What other sources of revenue can they get to match the RM40bil collected from GST?
“GST is a progressive tax system that has been implemented by more than 120 countries. India is also going to adopt GST soon at three different rates with the highest at 23%. Ours is among the lowest,” he said.
In his speech during the event, Najib said the nation’s success in education was dependent on all segments of the community.
He said if there was contribution and support from all, education in Malaysia could reach new heights.
“Education is important for any country. The fortunes of a civilisation depend on knowledge.
“Our ambitions for our children and country must be translated into commitment to education.
“Strengthening education is not only the job of the Government but requires the personal commitment of everyone,” said Najib.
PUTRAJAYA – The cancellation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s invitation to last Tuesday’s oath-taking ceremony of the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara was not on the order from the Prime Minister’s Office, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said he had checked on the cancellation of the former prime minister’s invitation to the event and found that it was by Istana Negara.
“So, don’t blame the Prime Minister’s Department or the Prime Minister’s office.
“If not happy (with the decision)seek an audience (with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong) to get explanation. Don’t blame other people,” he told reporters after opening the Immigration Day celebration here today.
Last Dec 7, a letter from the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal which was sent to Dr Mahathir to inform him on the retraction of his invitation to the event was posted on the social media and it created various speculations. – BERNAMA
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