Aug 24, 2006

Tun Mahathir : Oil for food program, If Pak Lah's wrong, he'll fall

This is the most remarkable allegation raised by Tun Mahathir. It's time for PM to re-act if he is really innocent.

Extracted from MalaysiaKini
Oil for food: Probe Pak Lah, says Dr M

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad said an independent body should be formed to investigate Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s alleged involvement in the United Nations Oil for Food Programme scandal.

In what appeared to be one of his harshest attacks against his handpicked successor, Mahathir argued that government officials should not be involved in any commercial transactions.

Responding to a question on the scandal at a press conference in Kedah yesterday, the former premier said he was only aware of the matter after stepping down in 2003.

“When I was PM, I was not aware (of this) ... only after I stepped down was the (UN) report made (public). What is important is not whether he (Abdullah) is a beneficiary or not but as a deputy prime minister - or anyone who holds a (government) position - he should not be involved in any commercial transactions.

“It looks like he was involved. How far he was involved, I don’t know ... but I think there should be an investigation by an independent body, not by those under him,” he said.

Mahathir added that Indian cabinet minister Natwar Singh had resigned when his name also appeared on the report.

Although two of Abdullah’s relatives were implicated in the scandal, the premier was however later cleared of any involvement by the UN.

His relatives were identified as Faek Ahmad Shareef, an Iraqi immigrant who was married to Abdullah’s sister-in-law but later divorced, and Noorasiah Mahmood, the sister of Abdullah’s late wife Endon Mahmood.

It was reported that the duo, through a Malaysian trading company called Mastek, were allegedly the biggest bribe-giver to the illicit oil-for-food deal involving deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

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