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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Dr M to Najib: I paid for the land lease in Langkawi, it wasn't free


Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today launched another salvo at his political adversary Najib Abdul Razak, after the latter made an issue with a land plot that was leased to him in Langkawi, Kedah.

Admitting that he did take the lease, the Langkawi MP said he did not get it for free or at a discounted rate.

This was unlike Najib who had requested the government to award him with luxury property, according to Mahathir (above).

"It looks like someone is going all out to accuse me of having gotten many things from the government after retiring as the prime minister.

"This person even published 'evidence' of a land lease in Langkawi. Lease means that I still have to pay for it, it was not a gift. It was not like I got it for free, I didn't even get a discount.

"I guess that this person was trying to divert the attention from his problem, where he had 'rejected' his own request for a luxury real estate from the government," Mahathir said on his blog.

Multiple times

According to the Pejuang chairperson, he did not get any land plot for free from the federal or state government.

These include two land plots that he purchased after he entered retirement.

"I did not get anything for free as a reward from the federal government or the state government. On the contrary, the lease was increased multiple times (during the period of leasing) until I handed the land plot back to Lada (Langkawi Development Authority)."

Mahathir also challenged the authorities to investigate and charge him in court if he had conducted any offences.

Last week, Najib, who is also a former prime minister, dredged up a claim that Mahathir had been offered in 2014 a 60-year lease on a 34-acre (13.8ha) beachfront property, for just RM3,200 per year.

The land lease issue was brought up by Najib after Mahathir said he had not taken any privileges as a former premier.

The allegations that Mahathir had secured a land lease in Langkawi first emerged in 2018 before the general election that year on blog sites and government-linked media.

The issue resurfaced recently after Mahathir began questioning Najib's request for a plot of land and government housing reportedly valued at RM100 million, as part of his privilege as a former prime minister. - Mkini

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