PM’s press secretary: Hold Dr Mahathir responsible

KUALA LUMPUR: The Saudi Arabian government’s confirmation that the RM2.6 billion donation to Datuk Seri Najib Razak came from their country proves the falsity of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claims, thus he should be held responsible for the damage inflicted on Malaysia’s reputation, the prime minister’s press secretary said yesterday.

“Tun Mahathir’s lies were motivated by personal interest, not care for Malaysia or the people. It was an attempt to use deception to unseat a democratically-elected government, just to save the political career of Tun Mahathir’s son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir,” Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin said in a statement.

Prime Minister’s press aide was responding to  Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir’s statement, which described the donation as a genuine gift with nothing expected in return.

It confirmed what Najib had maintained all along and corroborated the conclusion by local authorities that the money was a donation from Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday Bernama reported, Saudi’s foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir has admitted that the donation to Prime Minister came from Saudi Arabia.

“We are aware of the donation and it is genuine with nothing expected in return. We are also fully aware that the Attorney-General of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing.

“So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed,” he told Malaysian reporters here on Thursday.

Earlier, Adel held a bilateral meeting with Najib on the sidelines of the 13th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali had, on Jan 26, cleared Najib of any wrongdoing in relation to investigations into SRC International Sdn Bhd and the RM2.6bil alleged to have been deposited into his personal bank account.

Mohamed Apandi said investigations revealed that the amount deposited was RM2.08bil, which was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family in 2013, of which RM2.03bil was returned to the contributor the same year.

“Western media who allowed themselves to be used to propagate false politically-motivated allegations should apologise to the Malaysian people,” Tengku added.

“This also proves that the wild allegations, pushed for one year by Mahathir and his anti-Najib campaign, are completely false.

“Mahathir’s lies were motivated by personal interest, not out of care for Malaysia or the people.

“It was an attempt to use deception to unseat a democratically-elected government, just to save the political career of Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz,” he said.

Mukhriz was former Kedah Menteri Besar.