PETALING JAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad(pix) today said that he leased the land supposedly gifted to him in Langkawi, rebutting an accusation by Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

Najib, who is also a former prime minister, had accused Dr Mahathir of acquiring the land for free, but the two-time premier said that he was paying for the lease.

“This land lease comes with payments and it is not a gift, as some people are claiming. I did not get it for free, not even 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,” Dr Mahathir said in a statement today.

Last week in a Facebook post, Najib alleged Dr Mahathir had been offered a 60-year lease on a 13.8ha beachfront property in 2014, for just RM3,200 per year.

The issue surfaced 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.