KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir’s suit against the Prime Minister are going to open the floodgates for more civil suits to be filed against people in power about what happened in the country when they were in charge, according to blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin in his latest post.
During Mahathir’s rule, according to Raja Petra, Umno was estimated to have suffered a loss of not less than RM100 billion and probably even RM200 billion because much of Umno’s cash, assets and investments were being held under trustees, nominees and proxies. And Mahathir refused to hand this RM100-200 billion back to Umno.
He said, Najib can now sue Mahathir or counterclaim against Mahathir’s RM2.6 billion claim between RM100 billion to RM200 billion.
A few days ago, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others filed a suit against Datuk Seri Najib Razak for allegedly interfering in the government investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and for the political donation of RM2.6 billion, which he received from an Arab donor.
In 2004, Time Magazine quoted Daniel Lian, a Southeast Asia economist at Morgan Stanley in Singapore, saying that the country might have lost as much as RM400 billion since the early 1980s (that means when Dr Mahathir took over as Prime Minister) to corruption.
“I actually hope Mahathir wins his case. No doubt Mahathir is claiming RM42 million (regarding the SRC case) and RM2.6 billion (regarding the donation) and whatever else the court sees fit regarding 1MDB (RM42 billion). That is the claim. However, proving the claim is one thing — and what the court may actually agree to in terms of damages is yet another thing,” Raja Petra said.
“But what is more interesting is the precedence it is going to set because this would now mean Mahathir can also be sued for what he did when he was Prime Minister for 22 years. Or a counterclaim can be filed in this same suit that Mahathir has filed and the counterclaim can come to at least RM200 billion and even RM300 billion if Najib’s lawyers do their homework properly,” Raja Petra added.
The country and Umno suffered an estimated combined loss of RM200-300 billion since Mahathir took over as Prime Minister in 1981 and the losses are still climbing. For example, Proton and MAS are still bleeding and it is probably going to cost the taxpayers another few billion before they stop bleeding.
The blogger said, “If the court rules that Mahathir has locus standi and that his suit can proceed, then the door would be open for Najib to also sue Mahathir or counter-claim against Mahathir’s Statement of Claim.”
“And while Mahathir is claiming RM42 million, RM2.6 billion, plus whatever the court sees fit regarding 1MDB, Najib’s claim or counterclaim will be at least RM200 billion or probably even RM300 billion, “ he said.
The list of losses and disasters under Mahathir’s time was actually quite long and pretty sizeable. The 1980s Bank Bumiputra twin scandals come to about RM10 billion at today’s value (which Petronas had to pay for). The Maminco disaster is about RM5 billion (I am also using today’s value). The Forex losses were RM55 billion. Perwaja is another RM15 billion.
Quoting Barry Wain, the author of ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times’, the blogger said the direct financial losses amounted to about RM50 billion.
For example, the bailouts and compensation for PUTRA, STAR-LRT, PKFZ, toll highways, and so on, come to another RM50 billion or more. Hence Barry Wain’s estimate of RM100 billion is actually quite a conservative estimate. It can actually come to RM150 billion or even RM200 billion if a proper audit is done and if based on today’s value and not the value of 20 or 30 years ago.
Raja Petra pointed out, losing RM200-300 billion, the money that could have gone to paying for the building of hospitals and finance the granting of free medical treatment to millions of Malaysians, “is a violation of human rights because many Malaysians have died due to the denial of proper medical facilities.”
And the claim against Mahathir under ‘tort of misfeasance in public office’ and ‘tort of breach of fiduciaries in public office’ would be no less than RM100 billion and probably even RM150 billion or more, he said.
“And if Mahathir wins his case would the RM2.6 billion go to him or would it go back to the Arab donor? And I believe quite a portion of that RM2.6 billion has actually already been returned to the donor so it is no longer RM2.6 billion,” Raja Petra said. – Sarawakvoice.com