If I had cronies I would’ve taken care of them myself, Dr Mahathir tells Najib

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Tells Najib to prove his accusations.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today dismissed Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claim that he had pressured the latter into helping his “cronies”.

In a press conference, Dr Mahathir said he does not practise cronyism, but instead chooses to deal with capable individuals.

“I didn’t say Najib did not take care of my cronies. If I had cronies, I can take care of my cronies myself. I don’t have cronies, I have people with capabilities.

Bernama

“I don’t help people who have no capabilities. For instance, if the government had a RM1 billion capital to offer to the people. If it is given to people without capabilities that RM1 billion will disappear,” he told reporters after unveiling Parti Pejuang Tanah Air’s aspirations for the coming Johor state polls.

He added that for this same reason, before a contract is awarded to certain people, it is important to know their capabilities based on their previous track record.

“If they have showed capabilities, then we will help them so that they can succeed.

“But if we find that they are from my family, my children, my grandchildren, if they want to ask for anything, [they] won’t get it,” the two-time former prime minister said.

He stressed that he had not allowed his children to get involved in politics when he was prime minister the first time.

He added that his grandchildren too are not in politics.

“There was no nepotism during my leadership.

“I only support those who can contribute to the betterment of the country, that is individuals who are successful,” the Pejuang chairman said.

Dr Mahathir also said that he had helped many people, some who succeeded and some who didn’t.

He said that it was unfortunate that only those who succeeded were later labelled his “cronies”.

“And yet Najib claims that my children are billionaires. Show the evidence as how we showed evidence in court that Najib laundered the government’s money. I want to see those documentary proof that my children have billions of ringgit as Najib claimed.

“These are all false accusations by Najib. But this is nothing new for Najib. He is telling lies. He can steal money and then say stealing is okay. That is Najib,” Dr Mahathir said.

The 97-year-old was responding to Najib’s February 20 Facebook post claiming he was pressured to support the projects undertaken by people close to Dr Mahathir.

The two former prime ministers have stepped up their public spat ahead of the March 12 Johor state election.

Najib’s Facebook post followed Dr Mahathir’s open letter to Johor voters in which the latter described the Pekan MP as a thief and nothing like his nationalist father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein who was also Malaysia’s second prime minister.

In his open letter, Dr Mahathir also asserted that his contempt for Najib was not personal but based on the latter’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal. – MMO