The irony about this whole thing is when Mahathir first met Clare in 2015 it was to plan how to put Najib in jail. This time it is to discuss how to keep Mahathir out of jail. How the table has turned and the hunter has become the hunted. And Mahathir knows that not being convicted is not an option. The only option is how to make sure that his jail term is spent under house arrest.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
While most Malaysians were eating rendang and ketupat last weekend, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was in London with his entire family, grandchildren included. Malaysia was getting too hot (metaphorically-speaking) so Mahathir needed to cool down a bit. Unfortunately, though, UK was experiencing a heatwave (literally-speaking) and this month was the hottest June in 40 years.
Anyway, Mahathir’s trip to the UK was more than just the need to get away from the heat in Malaysia or to cool down. It was also to meet Clare Rewcastle Brown of Sarawak Report. Mahathir suspects that the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Bank Negara Malaysia’s US$10 billion forex losses is not going to turn out well for him.
And this is why Lim Kit Siang wants the investigation and subsequent report by the Special Task Force to be made public. Kit Siang and Mahathir have discussed this — in this matter Kit Siang and Mahathir are like Siamese Twins so if one dies the other dies as well. Kit Siang needs to know what is going to happen so that he can figure out what they need to do to save Mahathir (which means saving Kit Siang and Pakatan Harapan as well).
Mahathir knows he has committed a crime and he also knows that this time he is not going to escape that easily like in the many cases before this. He cannot say he has forgotten the details, or that nothing has been proven, or that there is no evidence of any crime, or that losing money is ‘normal’ in business, etc., like how he had responded many times in the past.
This time there is evidence. Bank Negara did lose US$10 billion and there are documents and testimonies of ex-Bank Negara senior officers to prove this. So there is no doubt about that. And what is even more disturbing is that not all the US$10 billion was lost gambling. Some of it was syphoned out and disguised as forex losses.
READ MORE HERE: Mahathir and Daim lied about the forex losses
Then there are the Cabinet papers that prove the Cabinet was informed that the loss was just RM5.7 billion when actually it was RM30 billion. On top of that, they told the Cabinet that the loss was only ‘deferred expenditure’ and ‘unrealised losses’. Although the Cabinet papers are classified, the RCI has the power to obtain any document or file that it needs even how highly classified they may be.
So that is the second crime they committed.
Further to that, they lied to Parliament. In 1993 they told Parliament that the story about Bank Negara losing a lot of money gambling on the forex market is a lie and mere opposition propaganda. In 1994 they told Parliament that Bank Negara had, indeed, lost some money gambling on the forex market but it was just a small loss and a paper loss on top of that. So no money was actually paid out.
And that constitutes the third crime.
One crime in itself is a very serious crime but all three combined means they are going to throw the book at Mahathir and probably sentence him to 44 years in jail like what happened to ex-Burmese Prime Minister Khin Nyunt (whose 38 underlings received jail sentences of between 20 years to more than 100 years per person).