Dr Mahathir says he will be heading to Sabah to convince voters not to support party-hopping state assemblymen

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur March 13, 2020. — Reuters pic
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur March 13, 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said he will be going to Sabah to campaign against the allegedly corrupt state assemblymen who defected in support of former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman last week.

Speaking on a Facebook Live session with MyPerintis this morning, the Langkawi MP added that the root cause of the 13 assemblymen’s decision to withdraw support from Chief Minister and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was money.

“I will go to Sabah, because I feel what happened in Sabah is a very bad example of corruption. I found out that the 13 assemblymen left government parties to join Opposition parties.

“If they leave because they disagree with the (state) policies, we can accept, but they leave because of money. They leave because of bribes,” he told founding chairman of MyPerintis Datuk Lawrence Low today.

Also present during the interview were Chester Venture Berhad founder Datuk Howard Chew and wealth strategist/business mentor Datuk Seri Adrian Wee.

Dr Mahathir said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, which he headed until February and was allies with Shafie, always upheld good governance and tried to change the corruption-laden culture of the previous government.

He said that after the PH government was toppled by Perikatan Nasional (PN), corruption is rife once more, in reference to reports alleging that Sabah state assemblymen were offered millions to switch sides.

“We are very sad because of the open corruption that is now happening in Sabah. This is not healthy for Malaysia.

“I hope those who jumped ship will be rejected by the Sabah people,” he said.

Last Friday, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Sabah director S. Karunanithy said it had opened an investigation into claims that several assemblymen were offered cash and positions to jump ship.

The MACC, he said, contacted some of the assemblymen who had made such allegations through the media in recent days.

“From our discussions with them, these assemblymen did not want to make any official report. They told us no corrupt transactions had taken place at this point of time,” he said according to media reports.

Karunanithy said the MACC would continue to investigate the matter and welcome information from those allegedly being approached or anyone with information.

Many assemblymen from the Warisan-led coalition government had claimed they were offered ministerial positions and large sums of money to cross over to the state Opposition in a bid to topple the current administration under Shafie.

In response to the defections, Shafie dissolved the state legislature with the consent of Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, paving way for elections to be held within the next 60 days.

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