Najib denounces Mahathir's legacy, urges investors not to believe opposition alliance
KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday denounced the legacy of his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad as being rife with cronyism and corruption, reported the local media.
Speaking before the international business community at yesterday's Invest Malaysia 2017 event, Mr Najib also urged investors not to believe the Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance, now led by Dr Mahathir.
Mr Najib said it is necessary to appeal to investors to avoid placing faith in an opposition bloc led by a man with a track record of "cutting corners" and rolling out policies that benefited only his close allies, reported Malay Mail.
Mr Najib, who is also president of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno), rarely uses international business platforms to criticise his political foes, the newspaper pointed out.
"This government... will always be straight with the people, and we will always do right by the people," Mr Najib said at the private event.
"We will always put their interests first, from economic welfare to security, even if it is not the most popular thing to do... this is also one of the reasons I am not very popular with that certain nonagenarian.
"Under his leadership, many corners were cut, and the Malaysian people had to pay a very high price so that a few of his friends benefited."
Dr Mathathir turns 92 this month.
Mr Najib also slammed the opposition's latest leadership structure as "farcical" and "a return-to-work programme for old-age political pensioners".
Alluding to veteran politician Lim Kit Siang of Democratic Action Party (DAP), Mr Najib said "the DAP leader of the last half century is now hiding behind the man who jailed him, trying to deceive Malays into thinking that former leader is their interim candidate for prime minister".
Mr Najib had previously said that Mr Lim, 76, was PH's de facto leader, and that Mr Lim would become prime minister if Umno fell.