Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 26th January 2011:
Is Mukhriz' "bizarre" dismissal of GFI report that Malaysia lost RM888 billion in nine years in illicit capital outflows a pre-emptive strike by Mahathir to forestall full inquiry into corruption and financial scandals under his premiership?
International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Mukriz Mahathir said today that the government will not look into claims by international financial watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI) that Malaysia had suffered illicit financial outflows in excess of RM888 billion or US$291 billion due to corruption and mismanagement between 2000 and 2008.
He categorically dismissed the GFI report listing Malaysia as the world’s top-fifth country with illicit financial outlays in the past decade due to corruption and bad governance as bizarre.
Mukhriz told a press conference after launching Google Malaysia’s new office in Kuala Lumpur:
"We do not see the need to look into it. If you go through the report, they have made quite a few bizarre claims against several countries.
"Going by Bank Negara's figures, we know how much exactly is going out so you can hardly consider those figures (from GFI) as factual."
Who is this “we” – Mukhriz and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or Mukhriz and his father, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohhamad?
It is really bizarre that a lowly-ranked Deputy Minister like Mukhriz could openly contradict the Prime Minister’s open directive to Bank Negara last Friday to explain Malaysia’s RM888 billion illicit capital outflows in nine years from 2000 – 2008.
Five days ago, Najib said the RM888 billion illegal capital outflows could be for “many reasons” but he said: “let Bank Negara provide more specific comments on that”.
Yesterday, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim said Bank Negara has already begun its probe into the GFI report.
How then could Mukhriz publicly contradict the Prime Minister and Deputy Finance Minister’s statements, even countermanding them by dismissing the GFI report as “bizarre” and declaring that the government would not look into the GFI claims of RM888 billion illicit capital outflows from Malaysia from 2000 to 2008?
Mukhriz does not have the political weight or heft to contradict the Prime Minister’s public statement unless he is speaking on behalf of his father, Tun Dr. Mahathir, the person who had brought down two Prime Ministers and would not hesitate to topple a third one!
Is Mukhriz sending out a pointed message on behalf of Mahathir that there should not be any public inquiry, let alone a Royal Commission of Inquiry, into e GFI’s report of RM888 billion illicit capital outflows from Malaysia from 2000 to 2008 because of corruption and bad governance, as four of the nine years covered under this nine-year period would be under Mahathir’s premiership?
Is Mukhriz’ “bizarre” dismissal of GFI report that Malaysia lost RM888 billion in nine years in illicit capital outflows a pre-emptive strike by Mahathir to forestall full inquiry into corruption and financial scandals under Mahathir’s premiership?
Malaysians are reminded of the allegation by Barry Wain in his biography, “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times” that the former Prime Minister had wasted or burned up to RM100 billion on grandiose projects and corruption in his 22 years as PM.
A full-fledged inquiry into GFI revelation of RM888 billion illicit capital outflows from 2000-2008 because of corruption and bad governance must involve re-opening investigations into the many corruption and financial scandals of the Mahathir era.
Is this what Mahathir trying to forestall with Mukhriz’s dismissal as “bizarre” the GFI report?
The Cabinet met today. Malaysians are entitled to know whether GFI report of RM888 billion illicit capital outflows from 2000 to 2008 because of corruption and bad governance had been on the agenda of the meeting and the outcome or whether all Cabinet Ministers steered clear of the subject and there is nothing to report to the voters of Tenang voting in a by-election this Sunday?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor