Pakatan’s strategic director Rafizi Ramli said that although Mahathir admitted the loan was made during his time, “what is frustrating is that the former premier continued to lie when he said that the final negotiations were carried out by Anwar in 1997".
Evidence, Rafizi (left) said, is verified further in documents from the Malaysian government and World Bank and this proves that the application for a US$404 million loan was made on Mahathir’s directive.
“The document marked PID6999 and entitled ‘Initial report to PID6999 loan application’ states the government announced the National Economic Recovery Plan (NERP) on July 1998, to bring the economy back on a positive growth path...
“The government approached the bank for help in strengthening this plan and implementing it through a social protection project.
“This document was to apply for a loan where the applicant was the Malaysian government and it was not offered by the World Bank as Mahathir had claimed.
“Furthermore, the NERP was administered fully by the NEAC which was chaired by Mahathir himself,” he said.
Rafizi said the daily running of the NEAC was decided by its then-executive director, Daim Zainuddin (right), who was also the special functions minister.
“All this proves that the application was made by the NEAC which was controlled by Mahathir. The loan by the NEAC was on behalf of the Malaysian government to finance to NERP programme, launched in July 1998.”
Rafizi also gave the chronology of the events: Loan application was received by World Bank from Malaysian government on July 26, 1998; World Bank evaluators came to Malaysia on Nov 30, 1998; and loan negotiations began on Feb 1, 1999.
Anwar was imprisoned on Sept 2, 1998, after being sacked as the deputy prime minister.
All this, Rafizi said, showed that not only was the loan application made on the orders of Mahathir, it also showed that all negotiations took place while Anwar was already in prison.
Matters pertaining to family
Rafizi said Mahathir may find further reasons to explain the matter but the evidence is clear now.
“I would like to advise Mahathir not to be over-enthusiastic to ask someone to swear on the Al Quran, as matters pertaining to his own family cannot be denied.
“If Mahathir dares to challenge why doesn't he swear on the Quran to deny his son, Mirzan, purchased the largest alcohol beverage conglomerate in this region with San Miguel.
“Isn’t he a leader who is a Muslim, in ownership of alcohol which is prohibited in Islam. Furthermore, this conglomerate also controls Exxon Mobil Malaysia,” he added.
On Dec 16, Anwar alleged that Mahathir had written to the World Bank asking for funds during the financial crisis in 1999.
Mahathir had initially denied he took loans from the World Bank. However, Rafizi provided further evidence to show that Mahathir had lied.
The former premier however in his blog posting yesterday admitted his administration took the loan.
Pinjaman Bank Dunia dipohon Mahathir selaku pengerusi MTEN
Mahathir will deny over and over of any wrong doing in the World Bank loans. Probably Mahathir will go the extend of saying, "I'm only the boss but the then-executive director, Daim Zainuddin did all the dirty work.