By Nigel Aw
The son of former deputy prime minister Abdul Ghafar Baba yesterday launched a verbal assault against Muhyiddin Yassin, in the deputy prime minister’s own constituency of Pagoh.
Tamrin Abdul Ghafar, speaking to some 300 people at a PAS high tea event in Kampung Sungai Terap, Bukit Pasir, recollected Muhyiddin’s alleged misdeeds during his tenure as Johor Menteri Besar from 1986 to 1995.
“Do you remember when he was Menteri Besar in the Stamford Holdings’ estate case, the state government had to go to court and was eventually forced into an out of court settlement?
“Who benefitted from this? (Tycoon) Syed Mokthar Al-Bukhary. Who made him rich? It was Muhyiddin,” he said.
Tamrin was referring to a 1995 suit against Muhyiddin and businesspersons Yahya Taib and Syed Mokthar for allegedly conspiring to acquire 6,600 acres of land which belonged to Stamford Holdings.
The company claimed it was threatened that, should it not enter a joint-venture to develop the land, where it would have to surrender 70 percent of equity, the land would be acquired by the state government.
Muhyiddin had denied the allegation, citing it as a bid to undermine his credibility and tarnish his image.
The case concluded in an out of court settlement where the Johor government and relevant companies had to pay RM405 million in compensation for the acquisition of the land.
3,500 acres of land pawned
Tamrin also claimed that Muhyiddin during his tenure as Menteri Besar had “pawned” 3,500 acres of land in Pontian in Singapore.
Muhyiddin had denied this in 2009, explaining that the land was made available to Singapore to help complete the construction of a stalled water treatment plant there.
Adding on, Tamrin took potshots at the deputy premier over the recent National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal in which the company was accused of misusing a RM250 million government loan, spending it on luxury properties and holidays.
“Who recommended that NFC be given a RM250 million loan if it was not Muhyiddin? Umno Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (left) had said she is not involved.
“But do you think NFC chairperson Mohamad Salleh Ismail would have gotten the project if his wife were not Shahrizat?” he said.
Claiming that Muhyiddin would be no better than Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak if he helmed the government, Tamrin urged Umno members, if any, in the audience to not to blindly back their leaders.
“Don’t be like a cow with a ring in the nose that obediently follows (the leader),” he said. – Mkini