'Crooked bridge' not reason for anger against PM Najib, says Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has continued his bashing of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, saying that he was merely seeking answers and denying that he was angry at the prime minister for not building the "crooked bridge" linking Johor and Singapore.

In a new post on his popular blog chedet.cc, Dr Mahathir said he knew he was alone in his quest for answers over various issues he had raised earlier, but said it was not wrong to ask questions if it involved people's money.

The Malaysian strongman has frequently lashed out at Mr Najib in his blog this month, even calling him to step down, over issues like problems with the economy and the debt-laden state fund 1MDB. He has also called for an investigation into the 2006 murder of a Mongolian interpreter Altantuyaa Shaariibuu by two officers who were part of Mr Najib's personal security detail at the time.

"Many have asked me. I cannot answer. So I ask those who can," he wrote, according to The Star.

Mr Najib had gone on national television last Thursday to clear the air, where he had said that two issues, the crooked bridge and 1 Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), could have been part of the reasons why Dr Mahathir was relentless in his criticism, The Malaysian Insider reported.

The prime minister had said Dr Mahathir wanted him to scrap BR1M and revive the "crooked bridge" linking Johor and Singapore.

"If I was angry because of the crooked bridge, I would have called for Najib's resignation before GE13. Instead, I campaigned for his victory," Dr Mahathir wrote.

The "crooked bridge" that was supposed to replace the Causeway to Singapore was one of Dr Mahathir's pet projects. It was scrapped by his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, who had stopped several other projects.

He said Mr Najib's television interview left many questions unanswered, but added that he realises that he is alone in his quest for answers.

"Some were asking me about 1MDB and wanted me to do something about it," he wrote, adding: "Now, there (are) even threats against those who did not show their support towards Najib," possibly referring to the backlash against his son and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, who has come under fire for not openly showing his support for Mr Najib.

"With regard to Altantuya, I am merely asking who gave (convicted officer) Sirul (Azhar Umar) the order. I am not accusing Najib. Normally, the police or army won't kill someone unless they are attacked or ordered to," he said.

The spat Dr Mahathir has with Mr Najib is similar to the one he had with Mr Abdullah Badawi, who was harangued by Dr Mahathir as being an ineffectual prime minister. Mr Abdullah resigned after one term and one year in office.