KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has challenged Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to produce evidence to back his accusation that the former had awarded government contracts to his children when he was prime minister.
The 94-year-old rubbished Najib’s allegations in a blog post, and claimed he had never allowed his children to do business in Malaysia during his first stint as prime minister, nor were they awarded those alleged government contracts.
“Only after I stepped down were they doing business in Malaysia — even then not with the government. Certainly, no government contracts.
“Please give documentary evidence of the contracts given to my children, just as documentary evidence proved that you as MO1 had taken money from 1MDB,” Dr Mahathir wrote, referring to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.
Lawsuits in the United States revealed that stolen funds from 1MDB had been transferred to the so-called “Malaysian Official 1”, or MO1, referring to Najib.
The post also took a swipe towards Najib’s stepson, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz’s discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) from five counts of money laundering charges in May.
The charges involved him receiving a whopping US$248,173,104 (equivalent to about RM1.026 billion by the exchange rate on the day he was charged or over RM1.075 billion by today’s exchange rate) between April 2011 and November 2012.
Dr Mahathir’s post today maintained how the DNAA was a sweetheart deal, as opposed to Najib’s differing view, dumbing down his explanation by using stolen chickens, as suggested by the blog post’s title, as an example.
This as he pointed out how Riza was only made to return US$107.3 million (RM458.8 million) after being charged for taking more than double that amount supposedly siphoned from 1MDB, insisting all the monies allegedly laundered should be repatriated to Malaysia.
“It is like stealing 10 chickens. You should give back all the 10.
“If you had had a feast of 9 chickens or you sold them to someone, it does not matter. The 10 chickens must be returned to the owner.
“Giving one back will still mean that the chicken owner has lost nine chickens stolen by the thief,” he wrote.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir had said that Riza’s DNAA did not absolve him of criminal wrongdoing, adding how such a settlement or plea bargain equivalent was not usual practice in Malaysia, adding how it was indication that the case was dealt with “generosity”.
In May, Riza was granted a conditional release from five counts of money-laundering charges over more than US$248 million of alleged 1MDB funds.