KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 ― Malaysia is not going bankrupt as frequently claimed by the Pakatan Harapan pact, said DAP’s Dr Tan Seng Giaw, who is out favour with his party.
According to a Berita Daily report, Dr Tan said he attended an International Monetary Fund (IMF) forum last year that reinforced the health of Malaysia’s finances.
Dr Tan, who has been Kepong MP for the past eight terms before being dropped for the 14th general election, stressed that he was simply stating the facts and not hitting back at his party.
“Malaysia is not going bankrupt like what Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) said. I am telling you the truth because I found out the truth myself.
“During the IMF forum last year which I attended, I received a report on Malaysia and I read it. After Singapore, it is Malaysia and in South-east Asia our rank is quite high,” he reportedly said.
Dr Tan was also a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that examined 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) previously.
Dr Tan said he even personally asked the IMF at a conference in Jakarta last month if the 1MDB scandal would drive the nation towards bankruptcy.
“They replied ‘there is no such thing’.
“This is an international organisation. They don’t owe us a living. Is IMF telling us a lie?” asked the former PAC deputy chairman.
While his party and its PH allies have used the 1MDB issue to go after the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Dr Tan has always been restrained with such allegations.
Partymen unhappy that he was not parroting the same lines have accused him of being a “running dog”, a Chinese euphemism for lackey, over his refusal to link the 1MDB issue to BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Instead, he links the state investment firm’s problems to former chief executive Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and others.
“Now they are calling me a running dog, in Malay ‘anjing suruhan’. What have I done wrong? By speaking the truth? They say I received Najib’s money; I must be a billionaire now.
“What do you want me to say? That Najib is guilty? Please. How can you say someone is guilty when there is no proof. What happens to ‘innocent until proven guilty’ (principle),” he added.
Yesterday, Najib asserted that Dr Tan was dropped by DAP as reprisal for telling “the truth” about 1MDB and refusing to toe the party line.
Dr Tan cited his position on former deputy prime minister and PH de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to demonstrate his position against false accusations.
Anwar is still serving his prison sentence for his second sodomy conviction and will be released in June.
“I feel the same about Anwar. I feel that he was unfairly treated and there was no concrete proof of his misdeeds. Now the person who implicated Anwar is with the Opposition,” he said, referring to Dr Mahathir who sacked Anwar in 1998 after accusing the latter of sodomy and graft.
“Why can we say that Anwar is not guilty but say that Najib is guilty? Where is the proof? That is all I am asking,” he told Berita Daily.
Dr Tan said he was not aggrieved with anyone in DAP after being told to sit out the coming polls, although he has served the Kepong constituency for the past 40 years.
“I am not going to contest. How do I feel after being dropped? I don’t feel anything,” said Tan.