MUKHRIZ CHAL­LENGED TO DE­BATE ON HIS WEALTH BY EX-AIDE

Ex-spe­cial of­fi­cer wants for­mer Kedah MB to ex­plain how he al­legedly amassed bil­lions

New Straits Times - - Front Page - ADIE SURI ZULKEFLI POKOK SENA adie.zulkefli@nst.com.my

AFORMER aide to Datuk Seri Mukhriz Ma­hathir yes­ter­day chal­lenged the lat­ter to a de­bate to ex­plain how he al­legedly amassed bil­lions of ring­git in a short pe­riod.

Hours later, Mukhriz ac­cepted the chal­lenge, say­ing that it should be held as soon as next Wednesday.

The chal­lenge was from Haris Che Mat, who was Mukhriz’s spe­cial of­fi­cer when the lat­ter was Kedah menteri be­sar.

Haris said he and the peo­ple wanted to know whether the Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia deputy pres­i­dent in­her­ited his for­tune or ob­tained it from other sources.

“As far as I know, Mukhriz is not from a wealthy fam­ily. He could not have in­her­ited the wealth from his fa­ther, Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad.

“As a for­mer prime min­is­ter, the most Dr Ma­hathir could have saved is just RM9 mil­lion, as­sum­ing he did not spend a sin­gle sen from his RM30,000 monthly in­come as the prime min­is­ter for 22 years,” he said at a press con­fer­ence here yes­ter­day.

How­ever, Haris de­clined to elab­o­rate on the wealth Mukhriz al­legedly amassed and the time the lat­ter had taken to be­come a multi-bil­lion­aire.

He said he would re­veal more de­tails be­fore the de­bate.

Haris, who is also Pokok Sena Umno di­vi­sion vice-chief, said he wanted to chal­lenge Mukhriz fol­low­ing the re­cent ac­tions of Dr Ma­hathir, who “acted as if he was free of cor­rup­tion”.

“Mukhriz must ex­plain to the public how he and his broth­ers — as chil­dren of a for­mer prime min­is­ter — had be­come multi-bil­lion­aires.

“I wish to re­mind Mukhriz not to twist the facts be­cause as his for­mer spe­cial of­fi­cer, I have enough in­for­ma­tion and se­crets on him that I can re­veal dur­ing the de­bate.”

Haris told Mukhriz to de­cide the date and time for the de­bate, say­ing that as long as it was held be­fore Ra­madan, which is due to be­gin by the end of May, and in the Jer­lun par­lia­men­tary con­stituency.

Mukhriz, when asked to com­ment on the mat­ter yes­ter­day, said he would not set any con­di­tion for the de­bate, but wished that it could be held here in­stead of Jer­lun as Haris sug­gested.

“I have been wait­ing for him to chal­lenge me to a de­bate so that I can an­swer ev­ery sin­gle al­le­ga­tion he has made.

“Hon­estly, I am also shocked by his al­le­ga­tion that I have a multi-bil­lion-ring­git for­tune, so I am keen to hear what in­for­ma­tion he will re­veal at the de­bate,” Mukhriz said at the state Parti Amanah Ne­gara head­quar­ters, where he took part in a live fo­rum that the party or­gan­ised.

“If Haris feels the date is not suit­able, he can pro­pose another date, but I hope it will be soon in­stead of wait­ing un­til May.”

It was re­ported that Haris had dared Mukhriz to swear on the Qu­ran to prove that he and his fa­ther knew noth­ing about a plot to sab­o­tage the ini­tial public of­fer­ing (IPO) for 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Bhd (1MDB).

Haris had also chal­lenged Mukhriz to swear that he had no in­ten­tion to force Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak out of of­fice to fast track Mukhriz’s rise to the prime min­is­ter’s post.

Haris al­leged that a cer­tain group had sab­o­taged the IPO, which forced 1MDB to put on hold the plan to is­sue the IPO, lead­ing to the firm’s fi­nan­cial trou­bles, which were used to at­tack Na­jib.

Mukhriz had de­nied such a con­spir­acy to top­ple Na­jib, claim­ing that the al­le­ga­tions were base­less.

Haris Che Mat

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