SEPANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has criticised Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and labelled the former prime minister as a hypocrite because he was willing to spend millions of ringgit to meet a former United States president in 2002.
When disclosing the matter, Najib said Dr Mahathir had paid RM7 million to lobby and meet with George W Bush through a lobbyist residing in Hong Kong.
“Dr Mahathir had used the late Tan Sri Megat Junid as the main planner. Payment was made through the Batu Arang TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad) contract where millions had been paid as he wanted to meet Bush very much.
“(Mahathir), Do not be a hypcorite. Mahathir did not get the reception like I did with the 45th US President Donald J Trump,” he said when addressing about 1,000 supporters who gave a loud applause at the Bunga Raya Complex, KL International Airport (KLIA) last night.
The supporters had gathered since 6 pm and had come to express their support and appreciation for the success of the visit by Najib to the United States for three days beginning Sept 11 at the invitation of Trump in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
According to the Prime Minister, the visit to the US was most successful and explained that he did not go to the major power nation to plead for aid or to kneel down but to state that Malaysia had reached the stage of a global player.
“I give the picture how Trump had received my presence. After the meeting at the cabinet room, the protocol officer asked Trump to shake hands with me outside his office.
“Trump said ‘No, I want to send him to the car and the protocol officer said my car was in the basement, and Trump said ‘never mind, he is my friend’,” said Najib.
Commenting further, the Prime Minister said Trump considered him as a friend and respected the Barisan Nasional leadership.
“I had gone not because of me personally but because it was for Malaysia. If we have good relations with China and Saudi Arabia, (it’s) because of Malaysia,”he said.
On the criticism for the purchase of the Boeing aircraft, Najib said he was only conveying the decision made by Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) to President Trump.
“Coincidentally, MAB had made a decision in July last year to purchase 25 units of Boeing 737… This was a decision made by MAB, I conveyed it to Trump,” he said.
He added that Dr Mahathir’s criticism against the investment by the Employees’Provident Fund (EPF) in the US was also contradictory with the statement by the former Prime Minister earlier who encouraged the EPF to invest abroad.
“I received the record of Dr Mahathir’s statement on April 26, 2005, he had said the EPF should invest more abroad so that depositors would receive more dividends,”he said.
Citing the example of the purchase of the shares of Alibaba Group which was listed in the US by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Najib said Khazanah obtained profits of US$1 billion (RM4.19 billion) from the investment.
On the Rohingya issue, Najib said he had conveyed the issue via his official statement to Trump, besides conveying the matter to British Prime Minister Theresa May at his meeting in London on Thursday. –Bernama