KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government leaders were horrified to find offices in Putrajaya littered with oversized garbage bags full of shredded documents, loose paper on the floor and even unfinished food after the May 9 general election.
In an interview with the New York Times (NYT) published today, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the state of affairs left behind by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak was far worse than anyone in the PH administration could imagine.
“The more we look into the previous administration, the more bad things we find,” Dr Mahathir told the US daily.
Dr Mahathir also told the widely read paper that attempting to rid the corruption stain has proven to be more laborious than he expected.
Members of his new Cabinet, including Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, had previously said they are being challenged to clean up the Najib adminstration’s “mess”.
The NYT also reported that Lim had found computers at the Finance Ministry, where important files were kept, were inaccessible to even senior ranking ministry officials and could only be unlocked by one person — Najib.
Dr Mahathir and Lim have both previously said their checks showed Malaysia’s debt and liabilities to be far higher than reported by the Najib administration.
“Any organisation that had money, the previous government found the means to take the money.
“All have been raped by the previous government. They have taken money, now they have lost the money,” Dr Mahathir told the NYT.
Both Dr Mahathir and Lim have put the figure at RM1 trillion, which drew an unexpected response from Malaysians who initiated crowdfunding campaigns to help the new government pay off the sovereign debt.
In recognition of the citizen initiatives, the government set up a trust fund called Tabung Harapan Malaysia, which at the last count at 3pm yesterday stands at RM66,671,860.40.