Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has asked former attorney general Tan Sri Apandi Ali to show proof that his children became millionaires when he was the prime minister.
“My children were not allowed to conduct business with the government or even join government bodies.
Dr Mahathir added that if there was no evidence to support the claim, he considered Apandi’s statement slanderous and that he had the right to take legal action.
The former prime minister was responding to four questions posed by Apandi on Facebook last month, including on the Batu Puteh case, the Sulu claim, and his dismissal suit as AG.
Apandi had asked why Dr Mahathir’s government had chosen to settle a wrongful dismissal suit against him through a tacit agreement, and whether this meant he had acted arbitrarily and illegally in letting him go as AG.
Dr Mahathir said Apandi’s dismissal as AG was because he cleared Datuk Seri Najib Razak of any wrongdoing in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case despite the US Department of Justice openly stating there was money laundering by ‘MO1’ who was Najib.
“When the new AG, Tommy Thomas, came to office, Najib was subsequently charged in the High Court and later found guilty of wrongdoing,” he said.
He added that Apandi’s actions also showed negligence in claiming that Najib was innocent.
“All this shows that he (Apandi) did not hold on to the rule of law and that he was not suitable to be AG,” he said.
Dr Mahathri noted that the government also had the right to dismiss officials who made wrong decisions, adding that they had done so in the past.
On the question of why he unilaterally withdrew Malaysia’s bid to overturn the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) 2008 ruling on Batu Puteh, Dr Mahathir said it was in respect of an earlier agreement with Singapore.
“If Malaysia had not dropped the claim, Indonesia would also have grounds to claim both the Sipadan and Ligitan islands off Sabah,” he said.
The ICJ had ruled in 2002 that the two islands belonged to Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir added that an international accord by a sovereign state had to be fulfilled as a matter of trust, otherwise Malaysia would not be trusted to honour agreements with other countries, thus losing its credibility.
“After all, Malaysia did receive the ‘Middle Rock’ which could be reclaimed as done with Layang-Layang island.
“New facts on Batu Puteh, if present, should also be presented to the international courts when making a representation that Batu Puteh indeed belonged to Malaysia,” he said. – The Star