KUALA LUMPUR – April 13, 2018: An aide to a former minister who claims to know the Mahathir children well has challenged the former prime minister to deny that his father had been asked to keep a quarter billion ringgit for safe-keeping.
Saiful Bahari Baharom issued the challenge on Facebook yesterday, following his April 11 allegation (also on Facebook) that his father had kept £65 million pounds in a London bank on behalf of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Saiful’s allegation not surprisingly went viral, prompting journalist-blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan to write that Saiful had probably made himself susceptible to a lawsuit and the new Anti-Fake News Act.
Responding to Ahirudin’s poser over why a close family friend of Mahathir had openly made such an allegation, Saiful wrote that he decided to reveal the matter because he was “sick of Dr Mahathir’s lies and hypocrisy”.
“Only if Dr Mahathir is 100 per cent confident that the story is false that he would deny and report the falsehood to the authorities. Who will call who’s bluff and who is bluffing?
“And yes, the original post was published at 8.11am April 11, 2018, the day the Anti-Fake News law becomes effective. That was not a coincidence,” wrote Saiful.
In his previous post, Saiful wrote that his father had told him about the money in 1987, a night before his father’s heart bypass surgery in Singapore.
According to the then currency exchange rate, £65million equalled to about RM249 million.
“I was astonished and taken aback when Tun Mahathir lambasted DS Najib (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) over the RM2.6 billion (which was kept in Najib’s bank account),” wrote Saiful.
He was referring to Mahathir’s frequently uttered claim that Najib had siphoned RM2.6 billion of taxpayers’ money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.