Following is an article published by NST Online complete with responses by TTF (in blue and red):
KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in the new Malaysia people are content as they no longer feel oppresed by the government.
Pakatan is only into its fifth month as Government of Malaysia (GoM) and still has a long road ahead.
That is assuming, of course, that the coalition remains in its current form, which, for all intents and purposes, is highly unlikely.
Still, the fact that it is in its fifth month suggests that there is a general sense of euphoria among the majority of people following the unprecedented defeat of Barisan Nasional.
That euphoria, coupled with the years and years Pakatan spent lying to and deceiving the people, has somewhat obscured the conscience of its supporters, to a point that they’ve grown more sensational and less objective.
Being the sensationalists they are, anything said against Barisan is taken by them as gospel, including claims by the GoM that Pakatan is less oppressive and more accommodating to the people.
It is only a matter of time before reality begins to sink into the heads of these people.
He said a major achievement of the new government was its success in fighting corruption.
The Prime Minister said unlike before, people no longer talked of having to pay bribes when dealing with government officers.
On what basis was this assessment made?
Are you saying, that in a matter of mere months, you guys amassed enough data to gauge public perception in definitive ways?
And what’s with this business about blaming the previous government for everything?
To my recollection, corruption at government offices was the talk of town during your past administration, more than it was under the Najib administration.
That having been said, it’s not as if I’m blaming you for seeking a change.
I’m blaming you for pretending to be innocent while demonising those who thrived on a culture you yourself instilled.
“We don’t hear about corruption anymore. People can deal with the government without having to pay bribes.
TTF: Again, on what basis was this assessment made?
“Even when you go overseas, you won’t get people asking what has happened to your country.
As far as I can see, the foreign media has slowly undertaken to accuse you of being suppressive, with more and more reports claiming that the government you run is incompetent.
“Corruption is almost no more as there is a fear of the law. This is a major success….we don’t get government officers looking to make profits through corruption,” he said.
TTF: How could you even think of uttering such remarks without presenting us with figures?
As per the rule of law, how could we even begin to trust a system where the Chief Justice is seen to be your man?
Tell me, is it not true that Richard Malanjum was appointed to the role following interference by Daim Zainuddin, who, according to Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, demanded the resignations of Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin?
And how is it that you considered Tommy Thomas for the post of Attorney-General, knowing very well that he would end up reviewing the merits to cases involving Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor?
Were you not aware that in 2016, he prejudicially adjudged Najib to have siphoned billions from 1MDB?
Where is the rule of law in all this?
He said this in an exclusive live broadcast on “New Malaysia with Tun M”, which was aired on Astro Awani tonight, hosted by Kamarul Haron and Ashwad Ismail.
Touching on the overall sentiment in the country, he said people also no longer felt oppressed.
TTF: I’ve addressed this.
He said under the previous regime, those who did not support the government were subjected to all kinds of pressure.
“They found themselves being hauled up by the income tax people.
TTF: Actually, I don’t deny this.
“Some were slapped with up to RM90million in taxes…they found themselves in a spot as their accounts were frozen and they could not do business anymore.
“Now we don’t have all that being done…no more visits from the taxman or other enforcement agencies,” he said.
TTF: But the manner in which the Kuala Lumpur courts are prosecuting Najib is seen to be more of a persecution than it is a prosecution.
First, we had the curious case of Tommy Thomas leading the prosecution in cases related to the former premier despite him (Thomas) having written an article deemed prejudiced against the latter.
Next, we had the curious case of a judge, who, after having initially presided over the cases, was transferred from the Criminal Courts to the New Civil Court, purportedly on account of his brother’s involvement with UMNO.
Where is the transparency and accountability in all this?
Dr Mahathir said after Pakatan Harapan took over the government, he realised that the problems plaguing the country were far worse than he initially anticipated.
He said the government was now focused on reforming the civil service and improving the country’s finances.
“Initially, we couldn’t look at getting investments or economic growth as we were focussed on cleaning up (the government).
“Now, we can…we are getting the private sector to contribute in various sectors. This includes construction of affordable homes and other things.”
TFF: Are you not aware of the problems plaguing states that were Pakatan run prior to the 14th general election?
It follows, that when you talk about the country, you have to include all Pakatan run states, including those that were once run by Lim Guan Eng and Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali.
Azmin is alleged to have solicited millions upon millions from a real estate developer in a deal that is said to have involved one of your most trusted ‘aides’, Dato’ Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.
Guan Eng, on the other hand, was alleged to have solicited much more than that through a convoluted network of advisories in what became known as the “RM6.3 billion Penang Undersea Tunnel Land Scam deal.”
There are multiple scandals involving these two former Chief Ministers, who, going by standards you have set, qualify as scandals that require equal attention with those you have associated Najib with.
Instead, you appointed these two fellows as your ministers without bothering to launch probes into their affairs.
Again, where is the transparency and accountability in all this?
Dr Mahathir, however, lamented about the country’s reliance on foreign workers no thanks to the attitude of locals who refused to work in certain sectors.
He said a high number of foreign workers in the country only leads to outflow of currency.
Calling on people to emulate the Japanese, Dr Mahathir said he could not understand why local youths refused to work in certain sectors.
“I visit construction sites often but all I see are Indonesian, Bangladesh, Indian and Thai workers…there are no locals.
“Why is it that locals can’t work there? In Japan it is not like that.”
Dr Mahathir said he had been called a workaholic as he was still at it even at 93.
“I am 93 but I am still working…on the other hand we have those who are young but don’t want to work and leave it to foreigners.
“When we leave it to others we can end up being enslaved by them,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia could learn from China which had made tremendous progress in the past 30 years, moving on from a poor country to a world leader in the manufacturing sector.
TFF: So why did you screw up relations with China?
Why did you intimidate the Chinese despite knowing that the northern republic is the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP and the world’s largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity?
Did it not occur to you that the future of our economy hinges on China’s success, that working with the Chinese would have made far more sense than looking East or West?
He said Malaysia too needs to cut down on its reliance on imported goods and concentrate on producing its own goods.
Asked about the national car project, Dr Mahathir said many felt that locally manufactured goods were of inferior quality compared to imported stuff.
However, he said the Japanese and Koreans also faced similar issues when they first got into automotive manufacturing.
“I remember a time when people considered Japanese cars as milo tins and were lowly regarded. Even the Koreans faced a similar problem.
“However, today the Koreans are not only exporting their cars all over but also have a manufacturing plant in the United States.”
But do note, that the quality of our goods never improved throughout your 22-year tenure as Prime Minister, as many ministers under your watch, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz included, were too busy dishing out contracts through the kitchen door to their own cronies, many of whom were corrupt and ended up cutting corners here and there.
Don’t believe me?
Call for an RCI into the Approved Permit System, and see what happens to Rafidah Aziz.
On allegations of cronyism, Dr Mahathir said he helped those who could deliver when he was the prime minister the first time around.
He said this had however led to those who did not succeed to accuse him of preferring certain people over others.
“That is how the story of cronies came about,” he said.
The eighties and nineties were all about kitchen door deals and negotiations in smoke filled rooms behind the corridors of key government ministries.
As a matter of fact, you facilitated many a lopsided deal that conveniently favoured your children and ended up turning lower-than-average businessmen into multibillionaires.
You did this because you needed these billionaires to stuff your war chests and those of your proxies with billions of ringgit to help bankroll party and general elections.
On efforts to clean up the government administration, he said action will be taken against those who commit wrongdoings.
He said the government was now tackling the more important cases first while action against the others will follow suit.
He said the government needed solid evidence before action could be initiated against the culprits.
“So once all this is obtained action will definately be taken against the others,” he said.
TTF: While you’re at it, why not cover the following areas as well:
The alleged RM6.3 billion Penang Undersea Tunnel Land Scam Deal
The alleged Ijok land-scam deal.
The alleged siphoning of millions from Perwaja Steel
The Manminco Tin Scandal
The Makuwasa-EPF Scandal
The Nineties Forex Scandal
The BMF Scandal
The Kampung Sungai Lembu illegal factory scandal
The Memali Incident
Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s enormous wealth
Source: NST Online