Grave damage from BN era affecting national recovery – Dr Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA, May 9 (Bernama) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad conceded the mistakes, damages and actions of the administration under Barisan Nasional (BN) is a major problem affecting the recovery of the country and the well-being of the people which the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is attempting to bring about.

The Prime Minister said therefore the measures and actions which should have been taken are being taken by the country’s latest administration to rehabilitate the nation.

“We found the damage is so huge, so much so we do not have the capacity to fulfil the pledges as soon as possible.

“In fact, our priority changed when we found the impairment is so great and severe and as such we have to address it first,” he said when delivering a premier message in conjunction with PH government’s first year at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here today.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, cabinet ministers and PH component party leaders.

Dr Mahathir said actions were also taken against government officers for colluding and being involved in graft and abuse of power by top leaders during the BN government under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He stressed that the PH government also had to renegotiate contracts awarded by Najib himself and succeeded in saving RM22.8 billion as well as billions of stolen money.

The other measures, the Prime Minister said were the investigations into the 1MDB scandal, enforcement of the laws by prosecuting those who abuse their power, misappropriating government money and oppressing the people as well as rehabilitating the institutions damaged by the former administration such Tabung Haji and Felda.

Dr Mahathir said to combat corruption, an anti-corruption body, the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) was set up to raise the level of integrity and eradicate corruption apart from strengthening the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and introducing the National Anti-Corruption Plan.

Dr Mahathir who was the fourth prime minister from 1981 to 2003 said the government is also reviewing mega projects including the ECRL in which the project was priced above the actual value.

He said despite being exposed of all the wrongdoings during the previous administration, Najib and friends are still disputing abuse of power, corruption and cheating committed by them.

Not feeling satisfied with that, Dr Mahathir said the opposition camp and other parties have in the past few months been attempting to create a perception that the government did not care for Islam and the Malays and the government was portrayed as bending to the demands of the non-Muslims and non-Malays so much so it is pawning the interest of the Malays and Muslims.

“Dissatisfied with that, we were also accused of trying to dispose of the monarchy system. Based on these fabrications, the coalition (UMNO-PAS) said their policies were purportedly to defend the Malay Rulers, the position of the Malays and sovereignty of Islam.

“It is very strange how PAS and UMNO could combine and cooperate. Everybody knows UMNO has all along been declared as infidel by PAS and PAS leaders especially Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has not retracted his call.

“My message is, enough of using racial and religious issues for political interest,” he said to the applause of about 2,000 people present at the PICC hall.

Dr Mahathir said PH has come forward to be with the people of all races to curb the falsehood propagated by UMNO and BN when they were the government.

He also questioned where was the voice of PAS when UMNO leaders were robbing and looting national assets via 1MDB, Tabung Haji and Felda as well as other government agencies such as Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and yet they have the audacity to call on their supporters to be with UMNO to defend the Malays and Islam.

“The struggle apparently to defend the Malays and Islam was no different from defending the nation’s robbers who are hoping for the government to fall so that their cases would be dropped and they do not have to be responsible for their sins and the damage they made,” he added.

— BERNAMA

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