Saturday, August 15, 2015

When Dr Mahathir, too, received Arab money

Salleh Said Keruak

Over 30 years ago, the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted to set up the International Islamic University. It was estimated that it would have cost the government at least RM1 billion or so, especially to develop the campus on the 700 acre site in Gombak.

Taking into consideration the inflation factor, what was worth RM1 billion back in 1983 would be worth many more times that today. Therefore, if we want to do exactly the same thing today, what would cost RM1 billion in 1983 would cost tens of billions today.

To finance what can be regarded as a huge project back in 1983, Dr Mahathir sought the financial support of the Middle East countries and eight countries from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) agreed to sponsor the setting up of the university.

To say, therefore, that Dr Mahathir during his time never sought and received help from the Arabs is not true. In fact, Dr Mahathir not only sought and received help from the Arab countries but he did so from a number of Arab countries.

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