HER juniors in Umno had vilified him, but Rafidah Aziz said Robert Kuok is a man of integrity, honesty and ethics.
The former minister and Umno veteran said she knew Kuok, the well-known Malaysian tycoon dubbed the Sugar King, since the early 1980s
In a post on Facebook today, she said she often discussed those principles with him, and even got the billionaire to speak to her children about ethics when they were younger.
“I never saw him in any light other than as a person whose principles and values the younger generation should emulate, ” said Rafidah, who was international trade minister under former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
After blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin accused Kuok of funding DAP to remove the BN ruling party and install a Chinese government, several Umno ministers, deputy ministers and elected reps attacked the businessman.
Even Prime Minister Najib Razak remarked the tycoon, who lives in Hong Kong, made his riches due to government policies.
Among the worst remarks against Kuok was by Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz, who called the 94-year-old billionaire a “pondan” (effeminate).
He also told Kuok to surrender his Malaysian citizenship.
“Yes, GE14 (14th general election) is around the corner.
“But it does not give licence to anyone to practise filthy gutter politics, to raise issues that divide our multiracial society, to demean and character assassinate individuals at random, using them as political capital ,” Rafidah said.
She said entrepreneurs invest to add value to the economy and the country, and the spin-offs from their enterprises have vast multiplier effects across the board.
“The government collects taxes and other dues from them to fill its coffers.”
Rafidah said the country was already suffering from the horrors of the kleptocracy issue, referring to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal, which was in the news in the last few days following the seizure of super yacht The Equanimity in Bali.
The yacht belongs to businessman Low Taek Jho – more popularly known as Jho Low – who has been linked to the scandal.
It was alleged the US$250 million (RM982 million) yacht was among the luxury assets bought using money siphoned from 1MDB.
“There is no need to pretend and claim that everything that is unsavoury or unfavourable is fake news .
“There is no need to politicise anything for political mileage or to please one’s political base, and to pretend nothing is wrong.
“Please, all is not okay. Far from it.