THE country is no longer safe and the people are now living in a state of fear from the rising incidents of violence, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Pakatan Harapan chairman said people are being shot, killed and kidnapped and if that was not bad enough, government critics are being harassed by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
“So, people are afraid because they don’t know what can happen to them,” he told The Malaysian Insight yesterday.
“We are not saying that this is inspired by the government, but people are shooting, being killed and kidnapped. This country is longer safe.”
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has launched a criminal investigation into funds allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB and has sought to delay civil suits filed in the past two years to forfeit more than US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) in real estate and other assets.
Bloomberg said witnesses who had come forward to provide information told the FBI that they were worried that they were putting “the safety and security of both themselves and their families at serious risk”.
In its filing, the FBI cited Malaysian news reports of local officials who have been arrested because of their purported role in investigating embezzlement in 1MDB.
The report also cited the August 29 shooting of the driver of former Malaysian attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, who opened the initial probe into 1MDB, as a possible warning to the former prosecutor not to cooperate with the US. This allegation was dismissed by Malaysian police.
Dr Mahathir said although Malaysia has a new inspector-general of police (Mohd Fuzi Harun), he is not sure if the police are there to protect them or to protect certain figures in the government.
“If the former attorney-general’s driver can be shot and people can get killed just like that, and until now we who don’t know who is responsible.
“People will naturally feel it is no longer safe in this country and they know that if you go against the government, you will be harassed by income tax and all that. It is true there is state of fear among the people in Malaysia.”
The offices of Dr Mahathir’s sons – Mokhzani, Mukhriz and Mirzan – were raided by the IRB early last month.
Opposition leaders have questioned the raids, asking if this was a payback against Dr Mahathir, who is attempting to bring down the Najib administration.
Dr Mahathir said that if foreigners take an interest (in the 1MDB case), they are welcome to do so, especially if a crime is committed in their country and not here.
“This money laundering is about American law and not our law. They are welcome to take action, but definitely it will take them time.
“But on the other hand, the people in this country have no means to do anything.”
Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was former chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board, has denied any wrongdoing and was cleared by the attorney-general of any involvement in the state investor’s multi-billion-ringgit losses.