ACCUSATIONS by Umno leaders against Robert Kuok are insulting as the Malaysian tycoon is a “true patriot”, Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
“We know his stand. He was born here, he is a Malaysian. He loves Malaysia and is patriotic to Malaysia, not to any (political) party. It was a slanderous statement made against him ,” the former prime minister told reporters today.
He was responding to attacks by Umno leaders such as Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Nazri Aziz who accused Kuok of being disloyal to Malaysia and for wanting to overthrow Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration.
Dr Mahathir said the attacks against Kuok were also insulting to people from Johor, where Kuok was born.
“Kuok is from Johor. They (Johoreans) are sad too ,” Dr Mahathir said.
He also said Kuok never provided funds to Barisan Nasional when he was prime minister.
“Back then, we did not need much money. We received funds, but not much. It was enough for us. Kuok never needed to give us (money), ” said Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir was Malaysia’s longest prime minister – from 1981 until 2003 – and was succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Dr Mahathir said he remembered Kuok’s good gesture when he visited Beijing and stayed at his hotel.
“He was so kind. He treated me well. He brought a cook from Malaysia to cook for me,” said Dr Mahathir.
He, however, did not share whether the trip was made during his time as prime minister or recently.
Kuok became a target after blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin said the tycoon has been channelling funds to DAP to pursue its interest of taking over Putrajaya.
Responding to the accusation Kuok said he is mulling legal action against Raja Petra and his blog Malaysia Today.
The billionaire’s office said in a statement yesterday the blogger made false allegations in three articles published between February 21 and 23.
Kuok made his fortune importing sugar into Malaysia, parlaying that business into a Hong Kong-based empire that spans commodities and hotels.
Separately, DAP also challenged Umno leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Razak and its secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, to show evidence the opposition party had received funds from Kuok.
“This (allegation) is a lie. We want Umno, Najib or Tengku Adnan to show proof Kuok gave money to DAP,” said its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng
“I want to know too (if money was given). As party secretary-general, I have no knowledge he had ever given DAP money.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT