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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dr M: World Bank "useless", wants Anwar to be prime minister

Dr M: World Bank "useless", wants Anwar to be prime minister

Defending himself, controversial former premier Mahathir Mohamad called the World Bank "useless" and accused it of wanting Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to be prime minister.

“We have been critical of the World Bank since my time. We said that they were useless. They dislike us and want to have their good friend become prime minister,” Mahathir told reporters.

The 85-year old had been asked to comment on the World Bank's latest report that singled out brain-drain and loss of talent as major factors hampering economic growth and that these would worsen.

The World Bank pointed out there were more than 1 million Malaysians who now live abroad and 43 per cent were unwilling to return due to the BN government's racial policies.

Who started it

The flight of non-Malay capital and skills began during Mahathir's time in power. He ruled the country from 1981 to 2003 and has been accused of worsening racial polarisation with divisive policies aimed to mask the massive corruption in his government.

Earlier on, he had taken another swipe at Anwar, accusing him of sacrificing Malay unity for the sake of political ambition.

The 63-year old Anwar had been his deputy and also the finance minister. In 1998, fearing Anwar might challenge him for the country's top job, Mahathir jailed him on manifestly fabricated sodomy charges.

Anwar was often praised by both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for taking steps to prepare the economy for globalization and competition.

But Mahathir, who had insisted on protectionist policies that helped family-linked and crony firms, accused Anwar of selling out his own race to win political favour and become prime minister.

"The Malays easily forget. They should learn from history on how the British had controlled the Malay Rulers and split Malay unity by forming the Malayan Union. That's the reason why Umno was set up. To unite the Malays ... but there are still people willing to break up the party which belongs to their own race," Mahathir said in his keynote address at a Perkasa function on Saturday.

- Malaysia Chronicle

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