PETALING JAYA: Claims that billionaire George Soros is involved with the electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 are part of attempts to cancel the Bersih 5 rally on Nov 19, says former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir said he placed greater priority on the planned protest against Prime Minister Najib Razak rather than Bersih’s sources of funding, and cast doubt about whether Soros had made contributions to the group.
Mahathir, who is chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, also fired back at Red Shirts leader Jamal Yunos who had said that Mahathir should present proof of his claims against Najib.
“I have shown so much proof,” he said. “Now it is my turn to ask Jamal, where did he get his money from? Does he pay taxes or not?”
Last week, leaked documents showed that Soros’s Open Society Foundations had provided funds to several local organisations as part of programmes to influence the outcome of the next general election.
“This cannot be verified and is only an accusation. Furthermore, I feel this is their modus operandi to cancel the rally,” Sinar Harian reported Mahathir as saying.
Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah has said the group received a one-time grant of about RM70,000 from OSF between 2010 and 2011.
Earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called for investigations to be launched into claims that Soros was funding Bersih, Merdeka Centre and Malaysiakini. – FMT