PUTRAJAYA, May 9 — Malaysians may be “bored” hearing about Barisan Nasional’s (BN) misdeeds but it does not change the fact that it cost the country billions of ringgit, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
In his first anniversary message of Malaysia Baharu today, Dr Mahathir said Putrajaya had also been able to retrieve monies that was stolen, and that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s efforts in renegotiating contracts that were approved by the former BN administration resulted in the return of RM22.8 billion.
“The people may be bored of the stories and reports on what the former administration had done. But even though we may be bored, the fact remains that the wrongdoings by the BN government under Najib were indeed a huge problem that has affected the country’s recovery and the people’s wellbeing,” he said, referring to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Even though all of Najib’s faults had been exposed, he and his friends are still disputing the abuse of power, corruption and fraud that they had done. Same goes to their followers.”
Not able to prove their innocence, Dr Mahathir said Najib and his followers had instead diverted the issue by putting blame on PH for not upholding Islam and the Federal Constitution.
Putrajaya had this week received US$322 million (RM1.3 billion) from the repatriation of 1MDB assets, which includes a portion of the US$4.5 billion (RM18.5 billion) that was wrongly diverted from 1MDB.
Apart from that, the renegotiation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) with China was one of the many projects the PH government had reviewed since it took over Putrajaya, which resulted in savings of RM21.5 billion.
Just weeks after PH’s victory in the 14th general election last May, Dr Mahathir said the country was saddled with over RM 1 trillion in debt, which he had blamed on Najib, who now faces graft investigations.
In the past year since PH took over the government on May 9, Dr Mahathir and his ministers have repeatedly raised the abuse of power and corruption practised by the former BN administration, which they said had led to the current government’s position and predicament.