Dr M: Don’t fear reporting on graft, we’ll protect you, we’re clean

Danial Dzulkifly

Prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad delivers his keynote speech during the ACCCIM 72nd Annual General Meeting at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Kuala Lumpur July 20, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Corruption whistleblowers will be protected by the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He assured those with information on corrupt activities that they need not fear backlash for reporting, adding that his administration is not only anti-corruption but is “clean”.

“I know some business people are corrupt, however reporting on them could risk retaliation from said person or his accomplices.

“However there is no need to fear. This government is clean, we will protect you from any form of retaliation,” Dr Mahathir said in his speech before some 1,000 attendees of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industries of Malaysia (ACCCIM) annual general meeting at the Mandarin Oriental hotel here.

Dr Mahathir reiterated that his administration is business friendly, but will not tolerate corruption.

The 93-year-old who was also prime minister from 1981 to 2003 also said his priority now is to clean up the government of corruption and stop leakages.

He then pleaded with the business community for their patience and understanding if they encountered any impediments while his PH coalition focuses on rebuilding efforts.

“When I became prime minister in 1981, there was little work to do as you only need to fill empty slots with those who are experienced to run the government.

“Now we need to rebuild the government because so many things have been destroyed,” he said.

He related that it is “very difficult and time consuming for us to run things efficiently in the initial stage”, alluding to his PH colleagues, the majority of whom have never been in federal power and were learning how to be government for the first time.

“But we have made considerable progress as we have rid ourselves of the rotten setup and have begin to clean up the rest of the country,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also said that his PH government will create new laws to replace “draconian laws” that impede development in the country.

The PH coalition, comprising Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, PKR, DAP, and Parti Amanah Negara, ended the Barisan Nasional coalition’s uninterrupted 60-year government in the May 9 general election.