Corrupt leaders will be axed, says Dr Mahathir

By MOHAMAD AZLAN JAAFAR / Pic By BERNAMA

Jakarta • The government will act and remove any officers or individuals irrespective of their positions in the current administration if they are involved in corruption, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The prime minister (PM) said the country has been literally destroyed by corruption and misuse of powers by the previous government, leading to massive debts and debilitating the country’s finance, as well as shouldering huge interest payments.

“We want an administration which is not involved in corruption. Anyone in the government who are involved in corruption will be immediately removed. We will act against them,” he said during a session with Malaysians at the embassy in Jakarta last night.

Dr Mahathir also blamed the previous government lead by Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak for the dismal and corrupted situation in the country, leading to the country’s massive debts of RM1 trillion.

He also assured Malaysians the new government is compiling the necessary proofs to ensure a successful prosecution.

“We will analyse and compile clear evidence which can’t be denied by Najib’s lawyers. I believe he (Najib) will be charged in court soon,” said Dr Mahathir.

Najib is currently being investigated by the authorities related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). He was cleared of any wrongdoing by the former attorney general on transactions related to the sovereign fund.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir admitted the country’s education is archaic and old, with less utilisation of information technology (IT) and computers.

“We depend on teachers to deliver knowledge and we realise not all teachers are good. If we have a good teacher, the students benefit,” he said, adding that the government plans to introduce specialised content taught by experts and distrubuted to schools in digital storage devices. “Mathematics and science taught by experts, and the disc will be used and shown by the teacher to the students,” he said, adding that it would eliminate discrepancies in teachers’ expertise and levels.

“We have English courses from the lowest to the highest levels. They will get the same experts. We are working on it. We will use IT fully and deliver the best education to all schools in the country,” said Dr Mahathir, who was a former education minister.

Dr Mahathir and wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali arrived at the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in Jakarta at 6.05pm local time yesterday and the couple were received by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and other Indonesian senior government officials.

The PM is on a two-day visit to Indonesia, his first state visit to a South-East Asian country since he was appointed as the country’s leader after the historic election victory last month.

The visit is seen as an important start for Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta as both nations share close economic, social and historical ties. Trade between both nations reached almost US$17 billion (RM68.51 billion) last year, making Indonesia Malaysia’s seventh-largest trading partner globally and the third-largest among Asean member countries.

Malaysia hopes the visit will become the platform for the two leaders to further strengthen the bilateral relations and cooperation of both countries.

The European Union’s proposal to ban biofuel sourced from crude palm oil (CPO) is also expected to be discussed by both leaders. Malaysia and Indonesia are the world’s two largest CPO producers.