Dr Mahathir claims MACC used to pressure Bersatu dissenters

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana in Putrajaya May 18, 2020.  — Picture by Choo Choy May
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana in Putrajaya May 18, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused the government of using the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to intimidate dissenters in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, especially those from the youth wing Armada.

In a press conference today, the former prime minister said the agency’s methods of interrogation see “unnecessary” pressure exerted on those whose statements were taken, such as questioning a woman in a dark room.

“They seem to be applying pressure, one of them has already been detained for four days by this department. And one lady was questioned in a dark room by four or five men.

“And the very act of calling people for questioning is a kind of pressure being put on members of the youth wing of Bersatu,” said Dr Mahathir in a press conference.

Earlier this week, Armada leaders claimed that the arrest of its members by MACC was to silence those who had previously voiced and disagreed with Bersatu’s top leadership.

Malay Mail is waiting for comments from the MACC.

In response, MACC said it is questioning Armada members to facilitate investigation into a case involving Armada chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. Syed Saddiq is a staunch supporter of Dr Mahathir, and is among those who have had their Bersatu membership annulled.

Dr Mahathir then pointed out that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration, which is only two to three months old, have begun to use intimidation tactics to apply pressure on those who are against them in a similar vein to the former administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He recalled that when the previous administration under his leadership had investigated the 1MDB financial scandal, investigators did not use any intimidating tactics as they had the documents, files and data to support their investigation.

The Opposition lawmaker then gave the anti-graft body a thinly veiled warning that if it continues to pressure his supporters, he will expose its ‘secrets’ — something which he said he will keep up his sleeve for now.

Dr Mahathir also believed that the authorities will soon be taking action against him, including by taking him to court if they can — which was a similar move made against him during the Najib era and the Royal Commissions of Inquiry (RCI) against Project IC that implicated him.

“I’m going to speak freely. I’m taking risks. I know they have lots of ways to apply pressure on me. During Najib’s time, someone rigged up something which happened 30 years ago and charged me with covering up, something I got nothing to do with, set up RCI and subjected me to an inquiry

“Of course, they would find me wrong because it isn’t a real RCI, it is a political RCI. If they find something wrong with me, they will drag me to court. I know what they can do and what they will do that but if I keep quiet, these kinds of things will happen,” he said.

The 94-year-old politician then lambasted the PN administration for appointing politicians into key GLC roles with high paying-salaries — again drawing similarities to the time when Najib had led the country.

He added that some of his supporters have been offered these cushy jobs at the expense of the professionals hired by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration and that many of them had succumbed to the temptation.

“But we see the GLCs where the chairman is paid a very high salary has now been changed. Even to the point where some institutions, people are facing corruption court charges have been appointed to some organisations.

“And that organisation has lots of money and I can imagine there will be corruption there,” said Dr Mahathir.

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