Friday, April 16, 2010

Dr M: Don’t put APCO bill on my tab

Dr Mahathir said the US had never shown displeasure at his administration. — file pic
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he disagrees with the Najib administration for spending a whopping RM76 million to arrange a meeting between the prime minister and US President Barack Obama earlier this week.

“Meeting is good but to say this money is spent because of what happened in the past, I don’t think is good,” the former premier said, rubbishing claims the government needed to spend the enormous sum of money.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had disclosed this week the amount paid to global public relations firm, APCO Worldwide, and claimed it was necessary to “repair” Malaysia-US ties strained during his 22-year rule from 1981 to 2003.

“I don’t care,” Dr Mahathir said, when asked to comment on Nazri’s charge.

“Whether the ties are good or bad, the fact is the US has not done anything that would show they were offended by us,” he added, citing the absence of official US complaints lodged with his administration.

Dr Mahathir also pointed out that investments from the US continued to flow into Malaysia.

“We did not get anything from the US,” he claimed, but was quick to make an exception that the world military superpower had given “one million US dollars” (RM3.2 million at current rates) to Malaysia “for the training of our armed forces”.

“They want it back? We have one million US dollars,” he quipped.

Dr Mahathir was speaking to reporters after delivering a keynote speech here, in conjunction with the 44th anniversary celebration of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), a government agency formed to aid the indigenous community.

He appeared disinterested in continuing the subject, noting that he was no longer in power. He noted that the Najib administration had the authority to do as it sees fit with federal funds.

“If I’m in power, I have my own way of doing things,” he said with a smile, capping the subject.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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