Unapologetic, defiant, he lashes out at religious leaders.
A defiant Dr Mahathir Mohamad lashed out at religious leaders who decried his comments that any 1MDB-sponsored haj was tidak mabrur (not accepted). He called these muftis “apple polishers”.
He also refused to apologise for his remarks despite a call from an Umno politician to do so.
“Why should I apologise? All those people who said I’m wrong were paid to do so. They are not speaking freely because they have to suck up,” said Mahathir.
“And when you are the government’s mufti, you have to defend and praise the government,” the former prime minister told a press conference at the PKNS complex here today.
He said this in defence of his earlier statement that haj sponsored by 1MDB would be tidak mabrur as he alleged that the source funds were “stolen” by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The 91-year-old has been heavily criticised for making such a statement.
His critics included Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman, who said whether someone’s haj is accepted by God has nothing to do with the source of funding, but the deeds of those performing the haj.
Mahathir, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) chairman, added: “If you go and perform the haj with stolen money, it is like knowing that the plate is full of haram food but eat it anyway.”
The Najib-led government has, since 2011, been sponsoring pilgrimages for imams and village leaders through the 1MDB Foundation.