Dr Mahathir has nothing to hide on Langkawi land lease

by ASILA JALIL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said he has nothing to hide and will allow the authorities to investigate him on the alleged misconduct that took place after his premiership as claimed by several parties.

Without naming anyone, Dr Mahathir said a lot of accusations have been made against him by an individual who said he had received a lot of things from the government after his tenureship as the PM ended.

He said there was also “evidence” with regards to a plot of land in Langkawi, Kedah, that was leased to him.

The former PM, however, stressed that he paid for the land lease in Langkawi and it was not given to him for free by the government.

“A lease with payment is not a gift. It was not given free and there was no discount. I guess this person is trying to divert attention from his problem where he ‘refused’ his own request for a luxury real estate from the government,” said Dr Mahathir in his blog post yesterday in reference to the issue on the land in Langkawi that was brought up by Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

Najib had previously taken to his Facebook account to attack Dr Mahathir and claimed that the latter had “paid” the government RM3,200 a year to get a 60-year lease on a beachfront land spanning 34 acres (13.76ha) in Langkawi.

The Pekan MP added that the offer was made to Dr Mahathir when his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was the Kedah mentri besar.

In his posting, Najib also attached documents regarding the alleged transactions that took place.

To this, Dr Mahthir said he acknowledged that he had leased a land and not asked for it.

“A lease means you have to pay, you do not get it for free. I also bought two plots of land in Langkawi after I retired.

“I did not receive anything for free from the federal or state government. Instead, rental costs had multiplied until I handed back the plot to Langkawi Development Authority,” said Dr Mahathir.

The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairperson called on the authorities to investigate him if the claims made by Najib were true.

“If there was any misconduct, do investigate. It has been 18 years since I resigned from the government as the PM for the first time. I became the PM again for 22 months and during that period my pension was stopped.

“A lot of accusations have been made against me. If any of them are true, you can charge (me). Punish if found guilty,” he added.