Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MALAYSIAN MAVERICK


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on December 24, 2009 2:30 PM

1. Barry Wain was formerly with the Asian Wall Street Journal and Asia Week.

2. Presently he is with the Singapore think tank, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

3. He knows that if he writes anything against Singapore leaders he would be dragged to the courts, sued and forced to pay huge indemnity. His colleagues have all been found guilty of defamation when they wrote something that was not approved by Singapore leaders. There has never been a libel suit by Singaporean leaders which has been thrown out by the courts. It is safe for journalists to impute all kinds of misbehaviour by Malaysian leaders. There have been many cases where the courts have found in favour of the journalists.

4. In Barry Wain's book I was accused of losing Government money over the purchase of tin being sold by speculators. When the time came for them to deliver the tin, they could not deliver as they had no physical tin. But the London Metal Exchange ruled that the speculators need not honour the contract to sell to us.

5. We lost money but not in billions of Ringgit as alleged.

6. Bank Negara traded foreign currencies.I don't know how much but we lost money. Government stopped the trading by Bank Negara. Again the amount is not as imputed by Barry Wain.

7. The third case is with regards to the losses by Bank Bumiputra in Hong Kong.

8. Altogether I don't think the amount lost added up to RM10 billion even. If we had lost 100 billion Ringgit the Government would be in deep trouble. But although we did have poor growth during certain years, the Government had never failed to meet all financial commitments including the servicing of loans. In fact we had enough money to prepay loans. The projects of course cost a lot of money. But the projects can be seen by the people. Penang Bridge, Twin Towers, KL Tower, KL International Airport, North Port and West Port in Klang, commuter train, LRT and monorail, numerous expressways all over the country, electrification and double tracking, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Langkawi development, Proton, Modenas, Silterra chip manufacturing plant, cement plants etc. etc. However, I don't think Barry Wain was referring to these projects when he said I burnt RM100million of Government money.

9. The five years of Tun Abdullah's regime saw unprecedented profits by Petronas due to the high price of oil. In my 22 years Petronas paid to the Government 126 billion Ringgit. Petronas paid to the Government of Tun Abdullah a total of 270 billion Ringgit in five years.

10. How was this huge sum spent? There are only empty corridors everywhere.

11. The public has a right to know how 270 billion Ringgit in five years have been spent. What projects have been financed by it. Why do we have to borrow money from China to build the second Penang Bridge?

12. I know every effort was made to find whether I had misused Government money. Failing to find anything the Abdullah Government set up a Royal Commission and accused me of being influenced by others in the choice of judges.

13. I have a right to clear my name. Tun Abdullah also has a right to clear his name.

14. The Government should cooperate and open all its books. There should be no cover-up. The Government is committed to transparency. It should demonstrate that it keeps its promises.