PETALING JAYA: Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng says Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s memory is “faulty” in singling him out and a “trusted advisor” in the former prime minister’s memoirs on the 22-month Pakatan Harapan reign that will be released soon.
The DAP secretary-general said as finance minister, he also had many trusted advisors, which included the ministry’s secretary-general and his deputy, and the national budget director among other senior civil servants.
According to a news report on the soon-to-be launched book today, Mahathir had singled out a senior DAP man described as a trusted adviser to Lim over his unauthorised involvement in government business, saying it showed how some actions had only provided ammunition for Umno to exploit racial issues against the Chinese-dominated party.
The report said Mahathir had promised that it would be a “tell-all” about events covering his 15-year retirement before his return to the top office in 2018.
“Mahathir said the DAP man was ‘delegated a lot’ by Lim, but had come to think that he could wield power over civil servants,” it added.
Mahathir also wrote that for the most part, Lim always sought his approval on almost all his initiatives, adding that every time he proposed something to the Cabinet, “he would end it by saying ‘if the prime minister agrees’.”
Lim said the point was that despite differing views, they practised collective responsibility in all that was decided in the Cabinet and that it was the basis of PH’s governance.
He said he was only responding based on one news report on the book for now, but was prepared to give a detailed explanation if necessary upon the full publication of the book. FMT
Dr M ‘put a stop’ to Guan Eng’s adviser, claims report
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad reportedly claimed to have put a stop to an adviser to then finance minister Lim Guan Eng for overreaching his authority on civil servants, according to a report.
It said in Mahathir’s upcoming book, the unnamed senior DAP figure had unauthorised involvement in government business, and this could provide ammunition for Umno supporters to exploit racial issues against DAP.
Among others, the individual was delegated “a lot” by Lim and came to think he could wield power over civil servants.
“It’s not the way a government works, and I put a stop to all instances of it that I was aware of, but it was this kind of behaviour that allowed the Umno cyber troopers to play up ethnic insecurities,” Mahathir reportedly wrote in his book, according to a report by the news portal MalaysiaNow.
The book titled ‘Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues for a New Malaysia’ is his second memoir and would cover the period from his retirement in 2003 up to his return to power in 2018. It is expected to be available in major bookstores for RM100 per copy later this month.
The report said Mahathir did not name Lim’s adviser but noted that an elected representative in the Klang Valley had been his close confidant at the Finance Ministry during the Pakatan Harapan administration.
The report said Mahathir wrote about an incident where the adviser purportedly threatened a property developer who was facing financial problems in a joint- venture project with the government to develop a multi-billion ringgit complex in Kuala Lumpur.
The government during Najib Abdul Razak’s administration supposedly agreed to provide a loan to the developer, but one of the conditions of the loan was that the entire project would be handed to the government if it falls behind schedule.
“Now, this particular DAP adviser did, in fact, make this threat despite the fact that billions had already been spent, and he did so without reference to or indeed getting any authorisation from the government.
“There were also occasions when this adviser spoke publicly on behalf of the government despite having no standing to do so,” Mahathir was quoted as saying in his book.
Nevertheless, ministerial proposals have to be agreed on collectively by the cabinet, and Mahathir reportedly wrote that Lim always referred to him and sought his approval on nearly all his initiatives.
“In fact, even in cabinet meetings, every time he proposed something, he would end it by saying ‘if the prime minister agrees’,” he was quoted as saying. MKINI
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