In retaliation against the incessant attacks against him by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today has issued a statement claiming the former PM is using 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as an excuse to topple a serving prime minister.
Writing in his blog, Najib said the ongoing attacks came flying towards him because he refused to adhere to Tun Mahathir’s demands.
1. Many people are asking â€“ what motivates Tun Mahathir to make these attacks on a serving Prime Minister? The answer is: he wants me to resign, as he previously wanted Tun Badawi to resign, because I refused to implement his personal demands.
2. I refused because it is my duty as Malaysia’s democratically-elected Prime Minister to lead this country and do what I believe is right for the entire nation, not one man. I do not believe the people want a former Prime Minister to rule by proxy.
3. Tun created a crisis when he recklessly claimed that RM42 billion was missing from 1MDB and that the companyâ€™s financial assets, worth approximately RM16 billion, were worthless. These statements are false and have created unnecessary panic.
4. Had Tun stuck to the facts and made clear that the RM42 billion is in fact debt, then it would be a different story. This is because a company generally has to have assets of a higher value to provide collateral against its debts. In the case of 1MDB, the RM42 billion debt is backed by RM51 billion assets as at the 2014 financial closing. But he chooses to ignore this.
5. It is wrong for Tun to falsely allege that RM42billion, or RM27billion as he later changed the figure to, is â€œmissingâ€. After 1MDB disclosed the whereabouts of the RM42billion, Tun then said some billions were lost. This shifting of numbers and arguments casts serious doubt on his claims. Regardless, because he is a former head of government, the market and public sentiment have been negatively influenced.
6. As Prime Minister, it is my duty to ensure that all entities under the purview of the government, not just 1MDB, are run well. It is for this reason that I instructed the Auditor General to conduct an enquiry into 1MDB, and for this report to then be passed to the bipartisan Public Accounts Committee for transparent scrutiny. If anyone is deemed to have engaged in wrong-doing, I will insist that the law is enforced without exception.
7. If Tun genuinely wants to have answers to the questions he has raised, he only has to wait for the multiple enquiries â€“ by the Auditor General, Bank Negara and the PAC â€“ to conclude. However, he does not seem to have faith in these institutions and the proper lawful authorities, or have interest in their answers.
8. This is because Tunâ€™s attacks in reality are not motivated by 1MDB â€“ he is just using the company as an excuse to try and topple a serving Prime Minister. If 1MDB had never existed, Tun would find another reason.
9. It is a shame that Tun has, yet again, turned against the leadership of his own party. These public attacks will only harm UMNO, the government and ultimately Malaysia. This unbecoming behaviour will be an unfortunate postscript to his legacy.
10. Tun is now saying that BN will lose the next general election, but since when did any one individual have the right to speak for the entire voting public? The opposition is in chaos, and, given their coalitionâ€™s fundamental ideological splits, there would be national paralysis if they assumed office. If we in BN stay united and prove ourselves worthy over the coming years, I have faith that the rakyat will prove Tun wrong at the next election â€“ once itâ€™s understood that his allegations are false and motivated by self-interest, not Malaysiaâ€™s interest.