PUTRAJAYA – June 5, 2020: Former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has warned the government that he will expose alleged wrongdoings to the foreign press if those aligned to him face unwarranted pressure.
Mahathir cited the recent detention of several Pribumi Bersatu Youth leaders by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission as an example of such pressure.
“They (MACC) use questioning tactics that are akin to threats. What they did constitute an abuse of power. The latest was the action against Armada (Pribumi Bersatu Youth). A lady was questioned in a dark room by four men.
“If the MACC continues to put pressure on our people we will publicise their wrongdoings. We will call the foreign press to help report the truth,” said Mahathir at a press conference at his office here today.
This intent is of course ironic, given that Mahathir was so contemptuous of the foreign press, especially when he first became prime minister for 22 years from 1981. Additionally it makes one wonder what difference going to the foreign press will do because it is not as if they have prosecution powers in this country.
The party’s supreme council member Ulya Husamuddin claimed in a series of tweets last night that the detention of the Youth leaders was politically motivated and unlawful.
He alleged that the arrests were linked to the investigation of what was said to be an audio recording of Prime Minister Tan Muhyiddin Yassin offering positions in government-linked companies.
The MACC however denied the allegation, pointing out that the arrests were in fact in connection with the investigation into a report lodged by a Pribumi Bersatu leader over stolen money. The agency has lodged a police report on the allegation against them.
Apart from MACC’s supposed intimidation, Mahathir claimed that civil servants had been forced to do things for the government and had been threatened with transfers.
Another allegation is about the Inland Revenue Board being manipulated to harass government critics, similar to his allegation during the administration of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“The government has several other institutions they can use against us. Fortunately they have yet to use the police,” remarked Mahathir sarcastically.