Monday, December 26, 2016

Are you serious, Mahathir?

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made a most astonishing statement that BR1M tantamount to corruption and is therefore illegal or a crime from the point of law. Mahathir's interpretation of corruption definitely differs from that of the rest of us.

Never before have we heard something so mind-boggling. Malaysia has been dishing out welfare aid since long before Mahathir became Prime Minister in 1981. In fact, since 2000 Terengganu has been giving direct aid to its citizens in all forms, the same as BR1M, although it was not called BR1M. And it was Mahathir's Wang Ehsan that financed this special  Terengganu aid program.

After implementing the Wang Ehsan and Terengganu aid program in 2000, Mahathir now turns round and condemns BR1M. Is Mahathir saying that if the opposition comes to power all aid and welfare programs are going to be abolished? Mahathir has to make this point very clear.

How can you classify aid programme as corruption? Are tax deductions and rebates also corruption? What about zakat and kebajikan? All are forms of aid just like BR1M.

When other people receive aid Mahathir calls it corruption. What about when his own family becomes rich and his sons become millionaires? What do we call that? Mahathir would not call BR1M corruption if it is his own family that receives it.

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