The salary I received as Prime Minister was a lot of money: Mahathir

Last Updated on June 15, 2024 9:45 am

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad said, if there is evidence against me of embezzlement, present it to the court. The salary that I received during my prime ministership was a lot for me. That money was also spent during the election later.

Mahathir said this by pointing to the current Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, denying the corruption charges brought against him. In a special interview with Doha-based television channel Al-Jazeera, he expressed his position on this issue.

Mahathir said, ‘I have not seen that money. I don’t even know where it is. I am interested to know. If I took the money, tell the court how you (Anwar Ibrahim) came to know about it.’

Mahathir said that he wants to go to Switzerland with the current Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. According to a bank in that country, he has been accused of “keeping his embezzled money”.

Mahathir said, “If we find such a bank, I will withdraw all the money and give it to the countrymen.”

Mahathir Mohamad is going to file a defamation suit seeking 32 million US dollars (150 million ringgit) in damages after Anwar Ibrahim made corruption allegations against him. Anwar Ibrahim alleged that while in power, Mahathir Mohamad abused his power and enriched himself and his family. Recently, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) started an investigation against the veteran leader for embezzlement.

Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister of Malaysia for 23 consecutive years from 1981 to 2003. He then voluntarily left power and went into retirement. Returning from retirement, he went against his own party and was re-elected as the Prime Minister in 2018 for the opposition party and served until 2020.

Mahathir was the Prime Minister of Malaysia for a total of 25 years and claimed that he only had the salary he received during that time.

Mahathir said when he first became prime minister in 1981, his salary was US$1,700 (8,000 ringgit) and when he left power it was $4,240 (20,000 ringgit).

Mahathir Mohamad said he was offered five acres of free land in Putrajaya by the government after he left the post of prime minister. He bought the land for 10 lakh ringgit (2 lakh 12 thousand dollars). There is a government record, I have never taken a free penny from the government.

Anwar was Prime Minister Mahathir’s deputy prime minister in the 1990s. Denying Mahathir’s allegations, he said he does not involve himself in legal complications against political rivals. He is not interfering in the ongoing investigation against Mahathir.

Last January, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) asked Mirjan and Makhjani to account for their assets following the Pandora and Panama Papers leaks. Three months later in April, the MACC said it was investigating Mahathir for alleged corruption.

Mahathir claims he banned his sons from doing business while in power. He said, I didn’t want allegations of nepotism against me. After I left power, Makhjani succeeded in his business.

When Mahathir ran for re-election in 2018, he disclosed in an affidavit that he had assets worth $6.9 million (3.5 million ringgit). He said that he had spent most of the money in the last election.

Mahathir did not like the fact that another former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, who was sentenced for corruption, was given the opportunity to serve his sentence at home.

Mahathir said, staying at home means you are free. Can’t come out of the house, but at home is free. You will steal billions and be treated well – a very bad example for future leaders.

Source: Al-Jazeera

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *