Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 21st December 2009:
Najib should set up Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate whether Mahathir had “wasted or burned up” RM100 billion on grandiose projects and corruption in his 22 years as Prime Minister
Why is the government of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, holding up for more than three weeks the release of 800 copies of a new biography of former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad by former Asian Wall Street Journal managing editor Barry Wain?
There can be no doubt that Mahathir and Najib would have already read the biography, "Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times".
Is either of them objecting to the release of Wain’s biography of Mahathir and want it banned like Mahathir’s “Malay Dilemma” when it was first published in 1970? This will be the irony of ironies.
Both should know that the year 2009, very soon to become 2010, in this Internet era and age of information and communications technology is very different from four decades ago in 1970 and any ban or censorship of Wain’s new biography will make it even more popular among Malaysians.
What is Mahathir’s stand on whether Wain’s new biography on him should be released to the Malaysian public without any more obstacles from the authorities in Malaysia?
If Mahathir thinks that he has been defamed or maligned by Wain in the new biography, he should avail himself of the legal process to clear his name and reputation and not to support any ban or censorship of the book.
What is of more pressing national interests and importance is the serious allegation by Wain that Mahathir had wasted or burned up as much as RM100 billion in his 22 years as Prime Minister on grandiose projects and corruption – working out to an average of some RM5 billion a year during the Mahathir premiership.
What Najib should do is to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate whether Mahathir had “wasted or burned up” RM100 billion on grandiose projects and corruption in his 22 years as Prime Minister, as this will also reflect on Najib’s commitment to frontline “combating corruption” as one of the seven agenda-setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and National Key Results Area (NKRA) in his Government Transformation Programme (GTP).
Will there be any Cabinet Minister who dare to step forward to support such a Royal Commission of Inquiry?
Mahathir should declare whether he would co-operate with such a Royal Commission of Inquiry to prove that Wain is wrong in blaming him for the legacy of “wasting or burning up” RM100 billion in his long tenure as the fourth Malaysian Prime Minister.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor