Seeing through Dr Mahathir’s bluff

A political analyst sees through the bluff that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad presented in a recent interview regarding the latter’s income and wealth.

Australia based Professor James Chin pointed out that the public perception that Dr Mahathir is involved in corruption stems from the fact that two of Mahathir’s sons have become billionaire in a short time.

“The public does not interpret his “income” or “wealth” in that way. Instead, they are looking at his children’s remarkable record. In fact, forget about all his children, lets just look at just one son,” he said via Facebook.

“Mokhzani Mahathir is worth at least USD $305 Mil or RM1.43 Bil. Another son, Mirzan is also a billionaire.

“Mahathir has repeatedly stated that the majority of his children’s fortune was acquired after he stepped down as prime minister. His two sons became billionaires within a few years of his retirement in 2003. Forbes reported his sons’ wealth in the 2010s.

“You can draw a conclusion yourself…..”

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Mahathir denied he had ever engaged in corruption and that he earned from his salary as a politician.

“I have not seen this money and don’t know where it is. If I had taken the money, tell the court how you (Anwar) concluded that I had taken the money,” said Dr Mahathir, 98, who is pursuing a RM150 million defamation suit against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“I am willing to go to Switzerland with Anwar to look for banks where I could have stashed away this money. If we can find such a bank, I will withdraw 100% of the money and give it to the Malays,” said Dr Mahathir, who led Malaysia twice.

Mahathir’s RM16.1 million isn’t much

He said that earned a monthly salary of RM8,000 when he first became prime minister and RM20,000 by the time he stepped down in 2020.

He said he was also provided with benefits, including a house and a car, which helped him to spend little while in office.

“They paid for my electricity, water bill… the government gives me transport, cars and drivers. I don’t have to pay anything,” Mahathir said.

Mahathir also accused Anwar of targeting his two sons, Mirzan and Mokhzani.

He said he does not benefit from his sons’ business activities.

With regards to Mahathir himself, Chin said the wealth accumulated by Mahathir was believable.

“Lets say on average, his salary a month was RM19,000 for 25 years as PM and another RM12,000 a month as MP for 33 years. On top of that, let’s say allowances was 100% a month for 23 years. Forget about personal income tax and the salary variation over the years. Keep it simple.

“This works out to RM16.1 million. I acknowledge that this amount is his entitlements. That doesn’t bother me in the least. RM16 million is not much for a lifelong career in politics.”

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