Dr Mahathir: ‘Cash is king’ practice has returned

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KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims that the practice of ‘cash is king’ has returned, marring the recent election.

The former prime minister, who is also Langkawi member of parliament, claimed that the concept was widely used during the election.

“During the recent election, cash was included with food packages and distributed to the voters.

“When giving out money, voters will take the money and vote for the people who gave out the cash. This is what (ex-PM Datuk Seri) Najib Razak taught them, that cash is king.

“Some of the voters are very poor, even RM100 is a lot. When poor people are offered money, it’s difficult for them to say no, so democracy will not function if the people don’t reject corruption,” he said at a virtual media roundtable session on his new book, ‘Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues For a New Malaysia’.

He said the coming 15th General Election (GE15) will determine if the country’s administration will continue to be led by corrupt politicians. He claimed Malaysia will have a bleak future if the current administration was to be reelected.

“GE15 will be the most important election in the history of the country, and it hasn’t happened yet.

“If the people are bribed and they support the people who bribe them, then a bad government will be in place.

“This bad government can then buy others and sack people as they wish. The government will do anything if anyone is against them,” he said.

Dr Mahathir remarked that if the country is ruled by corrupt politicians, Malaysia will in turn become a failed nation.

He reminded young voters to elect clean politicians for the sake of the country’s future.

“The young people in the country were born after the country has developed and now, they see all the skyscrapers, they don’t know that it wasn’t like this before.

“Malaysia was poor, there were no skyscrapers. But the younger generation thinks that this is good, the country looks good and they have scholarships and good jobs and they think it will be like this all the time.

“The future is not static. There will be changes, we will see a lot of changes if they know who is the right choice for them but if the country continues to be led by corrupt individuals, then it will become a failed nation,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also touched on his book, specifically an entry where he claimed to have put a stop to a political aide to Pakatan Harapan’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, from abusing his authority.

Dr Mahathir said he favours businessmen due to the wealth and job opportunities brought by investors into the country and that political aides have no business threatening stakeholders.

“As the political secretary, you are supposed to report on the politics of the country to the minister, not go around implementing government policies.

“I have cited only one example in the new book. Other businessmen told me that he was very arrogant. That was the word they used. He behaved as if he was the minister.

“When you do that, you hurt the contractors and whoever gets their jobs, including workers, suppliers and supporting companies, we cannot simply get away with the contracts nor reduce the contracts by force,” he said.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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