Tun Mahathir has no plans to meet Trump

15 Jun 2018 / 18:06 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has no plans to meet United States president Donald Trump in the nearest time describing him as a
"volatile" person.
According to a report by the New York Times in an exclusive interview with the nonagenarian, Mahathir was described as showing little patience with Trump who had welcomed former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to the White House, last year, and referred to Najib as his "favourite prime minister."
"I have no plans to go and see him.
"I don't know how I can deal with a person who is so much like a chameleon," he was quoted as saying in the interview following his first official trip to Japan this week.
The report also highlighted Mahathir's admission that the work by the government to cleanse a political machine riddled with corruption in addition to aiding at least six national governments investigating the missing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, has proved taxing.
"We have asked so many people to resign we are left with a skeleton," he said.
In a race to figure out the depth of the fiscal crisis that the previous Barisan Nasional government had plunged the country into, Mahathir said that when his aides and himself entered the government offices last month after the elections, they discovered "oversize garbage bags filled with shredded documents, a snowstorm of loose papers on the floor, even half-consumed food left by former occupants in a hurry to get out".
However, Mahathir did not need to piece together a single shredded document to discover the country's worrying financial shape.
"The more we look into the previous administration, the more bad things we find.
"Any organisation that had money, the previous government found the means to take the money," he was quoted as saying.
Beyond the more famous corruption claims involving 1MDB, the previous government had also overtly relied on its coffers to fund several initiatives, from a rural development program and a plan for religious pilgrims to a provident fund and a coal mine in Mongolia.
"All have been raped by the previous government.
"They have taken money. Now they have lost the money," he said.
While Mahathir is presently trying to revive the country, his former detractors believe that he is a changed man despite his record as an authoritarian who played race politics, suppressed the media and imprisoned his enemies.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who was jailed twice during Mahathir's first tenure as premier described the latter as being 'more reformist' these days.
"I think it's Mahathir version 2.0
"I think it's very different from the version 1.0 we saw when he first became prime minister," he was quoted as saying.
However, Lim also admitted that Mahathir had never expressed regret for jailing him but also said it was vital not to let old grievances fester.
"I forgive, but that doesn't mean I will forget.
"I think the most important thing is to look forward," he added.
Lim was jailed twice, the first under the now defunct Internal Security Act (ISA) during Ops Lalang and second under the Sedition Act 1948 for criticising former Malacca chief miniser Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik.
Despite having the chance to reshape his previous image and become a democratic icon, Mahathir refused to be sentimental about it.
"When you die, they rewrite your story.
"So when I am not around, they can say what they like."


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