Dr Mahathir Mohamad has claimed US President Barrack Obama was referring to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his speech at the Asia Pacific Economic (Apec) summit in Peru over the weekend.
The former premier also claimed that Najib must have been aware the remarks were aimed at him.
“Najib was there. He must have heard it. He must know Obama was referring to him. I am sure he would still have that fixed smile on his face. He does not know about being ashamed.
“He probably thought Obama was praising him just as he thought the Bersih massive demo was not well attended,” said Mahathir in a blog post.
In his speech at the Apec summit, which was attended by Najib, Obama made references to funds being siphoned into Swiss banks.
“And so what I would say would be that we all share responsibilities for improving that order and maintaining it, and making sure it’s more inclusive, and deliver great hope and prosperity for more corners of the world.
“We all have responsibilities – every nation – in respecting the dignity and worth of their citizens. And America can’t do it all for everybody else.
“There are limits to our reach into other countries if they’re determined to oppress their people, or not provide with education, or siphon all development funds into Swiss bank accounts because they are corrupt. We’re not going to be able to handle every problem,” the US president had said.
Meanwhile, Mahathir (photo) noted how Najib was photographed shaking hands with Obama at the summit, which the Malaysian media had published.
“The suggestion is that despite the US Department of Justice openly implicating Najib (referred to as Malaysian Official 1) in the (alleged) fraudulent siphoning of billions of dollars of 1MDB money into his account, the president of the US still regards Najib as his friend or at least golf partner.
“He will now go to shake hands with president elect Donald Trump – another golf partner,” he added.
Najib has denied abusing public funds for personal gain. The Malaysian attorney-general has also cleared him of any wrongdoing.
The prime minister has accused Mahathir of spearheading a campaign to topple him from power.
Previously, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan confirmed that the DOJ was referring to Najib when it mentioned “Malaysian Official 1" in its 1MDB-related civil suits.
However, he said since the prime minister was not named, it showed that the latter is not being investigated.
Among others, the DOJ documents named Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz and businessman Jho Low, who is said to be close to the prime minister’s family.-Mkini