Mahathir: Corrupt leaders likely to make a comeback

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Corrupt leaders are likely to make a comeback in the 15th general election with the current voters’ mindset, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He took the Malacca elections, where Barisan Nasional (BN) emerged victorious, as a case in point.

“This is the party rejected by the electorate in 2018, just three years ago because its leader was totally corrupt and had stolen billions of ringgit of government money.

“The same convicted leader led the campaign in the Malacca elections. He is still facing more charges in court today. Yet his party won with a huge majority,” he said, referring to convicted former prime minister Najib Razak.

“What can we say about the voters of Malacca who delivered this result?

“Is it possible that they have forgotten the crimes committed by Najib? Or is it that they have forgiven him? Or is it because they believe his claim that he is innocent?

“Or is it because the voters did not care; that to them corruption is acceptable because they got something for themselves from this corrupt leader,” the Langkawi MP penned in a blogpost.

He said it appeared that the people had no issues with corruption and stealing money, as time went on.

Therefore, he said corrupt leaders were still receiving support.

“With this mindset, they are likely to bring back corrupt leaders at the next general election. What kind of country will Malaysia be when corrupt politicians rule the country?” he said.

Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia was highly respected and regarded as a model nation by many countries before Najib’s tenure.

“It was known as an Asian Tiger. It was regarded as a model by many countries. Under a corrupt leader Malaysia is labelled a kleptocracy, a country led by thieves.

“It is not likely that the kleptocrat would change. The principle will still be ‘cash is king’. Government money would still be stolen,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia’s economic promise changed under Najib, whom he said had shown no remorse “over his stealing, corruption, and abuse of power, even when he was found guilty”.

He added that Najib continued to be well regarded and treated with respect.

“For all his crimes, the government is still rewarding him with RM100 million. So why should he stop being corrupt and stop stealing money, since he would still be respected and rewarded.

“When he or his colleagues lead future governments, they will continue to corrupt everyone, including the administrative machinery,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would become a totally corrupt country, which will repel investors and visitors.

The Pejuang founder warned that if Malaysia becomes deprived of investments, no jobs would be created to cater to the thousands of graduates produced every year.

“Others who are not qualified would remain jobless. Businesses, big and small, would fail. The country would go into depression. It would be a failed country,” he said.

He added that will be the price to pay if the country tolerates corruption.

The Court of Appeal is set to deliver its judgment on Najib’s attempt to overturn his conviction at the High Court for misappropriating RM42 million of SRC funds.

He also faces a number of other criminal cases related to the 1MDB scandal.

His then deputy prime minister and current Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will know on January 24 if he needs to enter a defence against 47 corruption charges in connection with Yayasan Akalbudi.

Several other Umno leaders are also currently facing criminal cases. – TMI