Mahathir accuses Najib of being proxy of Singapore and businessman Jho Low

Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad (left) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad (left) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - In yet another attack on Prime Minister Najib Razak, Dr Mahathir Mohamad accused the embattled leader of being the "proxy" of Singapore and businessman Low Teck Jho.

"Najib has his own advisers, including three Brits. He paid foreign consultants to advise him on government matters. He also asked Singapore whether he should build the bridge or the high-speed train. When Singapore said no, he shelved those projects. Jho Low is his friend and seems to have considerable hold on him.

"The fact is that he is their proxy not mine. If he had behaved as my proxy there would have been no 1MDB ( 1Malaysia Development Fund) etc," he said in a blog post on Thursday.

Low - better known as Jho Low - is a Malaysian businessman who helped Najib set up 1MDB. He was alleged to have received US$529 million (S$722 million) in his Singapore bank account, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report that cited documents from an ongoing investigation into the troubled state investor.

The WSJ had also claimed that government agencies and companies linked to 1MDB had allegedly funnelled almost US$700 million into Najib's personal bank accounts.

In his blog post, Dr Mahathir "welcomed" proposals for the authorities to investigate the allegation that he had lost RM600 million (S$215 million) in the 1980s when he was prime minister.

"I welcome the proposal that the authorities should stop investigating the banking affairs of Dato Sri Najib but instead investigate the allegation by Tunku Aziz that I lost RM600 million in the 80's.

He was referring to an allegation by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) advisory board chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, who in early May had criticised the financial scandals that took place during Dr Mahathir's 22-year tenure.

"The need is to determine whether the money went into my account at the bank or the money was lost due to the London Market Exchange ruling that the tin bought by us from sellers need not be honoured,'' he said.

Dr Mahathir also said it was not true he wanted Najib to go because the latter did not listen to him.

"Everyone knows that I campaigned for him in the 13th General Election even though he refused to build the bridge, or the double-tracking and electrification of the railways," he said.

"I did not ask him to step down until the 1MDB scandal. He did not answer to the accusation made against him."

Najib, who is also finance minister and chairman of 1MDB's advisory board, has denied taking funds for personal gain.