These are the words that came from Lim Kit Siang’s brains on 21st December 2009:
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 (RCI) 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).
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.
The above is what Lim Kit Siang had written in his opportunistic article to criticise Tun Dr Mahathir. What he did not foresee was Tun Dr Mahathir’s reply to him.
Tun Dr Mahathir, much to Lim Kit Siang’s horror, had welcomed the proposal to set up the RCI. Not only that, he will fully cooperate with the RCI and had also urged the government to release the Barry Wain’s book into the market.
Kit Siang was hoping that Tun Dr Mahathir will not adhere to his requests so that he could prolong this issue. Instead, Tun Dr Mahathir had made his stand and the ball now is thrown in Kit Siang’s, Barry Wain’s and Najib’s courts!
An excerpt of Tun’s article that had replied to Kit Siang’s bluff read:
I welcome Lim Kit Siang’s proposal for Najib to set up a royal commission on whether I burned RM100 billion on grandiose projects and corruption during my 22-year reign. I also agree with Lim Kit Siang that the investigation would reflect Najib’s commitment to “combating corruption”.
In order that the enquiry by the commission would be successful, Government must give the undertaking to give full access to the commission of all the documents and accounts of the Government over the period 1981-2009. There should be no cover-up of any kind.
Barry Wain must provide documentary proof of any sum that he alleged I had burned.
I will co-operate fully with the commission.
Depending upon the result of the commission, I reserve the right to sue Barry Wain, Lim Kit Siang and Malaysiakini.com for libel for a sum to be disclosed later.
If the Government is witholding the book: “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times”, I would request that the book be released forthwith. I am not in need of Government protection.
In any allegations, it is up to the accuser to bring out any proof that had substantiated his claims. In this case Barry Wain must show all the evidence that made him think ‘Mahathir wasted RM100 billion in 22 years’.
If he couldn’t substantiate his claims then his writings are purely slander.
The RCI is there to investigate this evidence prepared by Barry Wain and make a decision out of it. If Tun Dr Mahathir is found innocent, I think he will then proceed in suing Barry Wain, Kit Siang (for repeating the allegation) and other people he sees fit. This is because, these two people had defamed and maligned him unceremoniously.
Please be aware that Barry Wain clearly stated Mahathir’s name in making his allegation. He did not say it’s the Government of Malaysia that lost the RM100 billion.
The ramifications of this is huge on Barry Wain’s part since we all know that all decisions were made by the cabinet. The cabinet of 1981 to 2003.
Unless the whole people that were part of that cabinet are plunged along together with this accusations in this RCI, it will be hard to find Mahathir as solely guilty of it.
And who were in the cabinet of 1981 to 2003? Tun Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib Tun Razak as well as Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar’s peons such as Azmin Ali and Kamaruddin Jaafar will also be implicated as their names will undoubtedly appear in many dealings Anwar made during his time as Finance Minister.
Mahathir even called the government to release all the documents and accounts from 1981 onwards so that the RCI can peruse over them. Now, if the RCI is set up, Najib must declassify all these historical documents. I bet many heads will roll especially the ones running around in Pakatan Rakyat.
Again, the ball is in Barry Wain’s and Najib’s courts. Wain with the documentary proof to prove his allegations and Najib to give the green light for the RCI.
Anwar Ibrahim must get ready to be called in for this RCI with the proof that he did not authorise any transactions or contracts during those period while Kit Siang must get ready to be sued along with Wain if the slander is not true.
I see terrible times for Anwar Ibrahim. Pakatan Rakyat’s reputation as anti BTN shattered when Anwar could not muster a good rebuttal on the BTN controversy which he was part of back when he was the Deputy President of Umno. With a sodomy trial fast approaching brought about from the police report by his own employee, coupled with the inability of Pakatan Rakyat to form an official party due to differences in ideologies, Anwar Ibrahim’s task as the opposition leader is made worse by Kit Siang’s malicious exuberance. How on earth would people treat Pakatan Rakyat seriously?
Kit Siang on the other hand, sensing his blunder could not enjoy his time properly in Tokyo. He tweeted yesterday:
1. Why Mahathir reserved right 2sue me 4stmt calling 4RCI into allegation in “Maverick Mahathir” RM100 bil wasted or burned in 22 yrs PMship?
12/23/2009 09:31 PM
2. Why his suit conditional on outcome of RCI into Barry Wain’s allegation when M will do utmost 2block RCI though claiming support publicly?
12/23/2009 09:35 PM
3. Why Mahathir don’t sue me now if I had libelled him calling for RCI into Barry Wain’s RM100 billion allegation in his book Maverick M?
12/23/2009 09:39 PM
4. Mahathir wants Wain’s book 2b released forthwith.Who really believe Mahathir? Or is Najib or Hisham culprit blocking “Maverick M”’s release?
12/23/2009 09:45 PM
I took the liberty to rearrange the twitter in chronological order. You can sense the befuddled brain trying its best to strategise a lame defense over Tun’s reply.
Let me just reply to Kit Siang with obvious answers.
1. Mahathir reserved the right to sue pending the results of the RCI which you in the first place urged the government to set up!
2. Did Mahathir say he will block the RCI? In fact, Mahathir had also urged the government to set it up. The stupidest remark from Kit Siang would be ‘Why his suit conditional on outcome of RCI?’. This is because if the RCI did indeed find him guilty, then he does not have to sue the two of you!
3. Sigh. We have to wait for the results of the RCI which you called for in the first place! If Mahathir is declared innocent, only then Wain and yourself no longer have the position to defend against the impending suit as the RCI has revealed that the allegations are indeed libelous and defamatory.
4. Now this is redundant. Mahathir already called for the book to be released. Kit Siang has no more concrete things to say at this juncture.
I find it very amusing when people accuse others without a shred of evidence. For politicians to simply accuse people using lame Statutory Declarations, or in Parliament (hoping to be protected by parliamentary immunity) or in the case of Tian Chua, simply saying he has the evidence that Rosmah spent RM600K in shopping spree but stop short in showing people the evidence itself doesn’t work anymore.
The rakyat now is more sophisticated than before. We demand concrete answers. We demand concrete action. Barry Wain and Lim Kit Siang and the whole gamut of the opposition must walk the talk and prepare for the consequences of your actions. Judging from his reply, Tun Mahathir is prepared to be responsible for his actions.
The last thing we need to see is Kit Siang lambasting a Royal Commission of Inquiry by questioning that it ultimately won’t be impartial or lacking integrity even before it is being set up – just to save his face. Or the very people whose leaders had been suing everyone else urging Tun Mahathir not sue anyone.