As I mentioned in Mahathir Criticised AAB's Performance as OIC Head, Dr Mahathir’s criticism of his successor has turned more personal after the mace attack at Kota Baru airport last Friday. I did ponder on whether Mahathir’s new attack orientation had been influenced by that vicious event.
Anyway, his new principal target is still his old one, namely Khairy Jamaluddin, the high profile but controversial son-in-law of PM AAB.
Dr Mahathir, speaking to UMNO members at a function in Kota Baru after he had recovered from the pepper spray, said bluntly:
“Let’s look at what has happened, especially involving, what’s his name ... Khairy, the son-in-law. Everyone is talking about the son-in-law, (saying) ‘Wow, this is serious. He has power’. It is to the extent that even mentris besar have to ask Khairy for permission to do things.”
“But why? (Other than holding a post as Umno Youth deputy chief), he has no position in the government. He can call up mentris besar to give instructions. Where do his powers come from? That’s what I disagree about.”
“In a short period of time, he has become a millionaire. Why do we know he is a millionaire? He has declared that he bought shares in ECM-Libra and his shares are valued at RM9 million. Where did the RM 9 million come from? Tell us.”
“Was it borrowed from a bank? People with no money can’t borrow (that much money). Only people with money can borrow ... In a short period of time, after that, ECM-Libra indirectly took over a government company called Avenue Assets. This company is even bigger and worth more than ECM-Libra... And who is responsible for this company? The finance ministry.”
“This finance minister is also the prime minister. This is not appropriate.”
Dr Mahathir's blast had been a double barrelled blast, peppering (excuse the pun) both Khairy and AAB.
If true, then what is more troubling/concerning to the public than the unexplained RM 9 millions has been that a 30-year old man, with no official designation in the government, could summon - yes, the appropriate word as Dr Mahathir has described Khairy’s purported actions would indeed be ‘summon’ - heads of state governments or menteri-2 besar (state premiers) at will, to order them around.
Obviously, if that had been the case, his authority to do so would have been derived from his father-in-law’s position as the PM of Malaysia. Have the state premiers, or at least some of them, been whistle-blowing to Dr Mahathir?
Perhaps with such a devastating Mahathir attack, 'elegant' silence may not be a bad option after all.