“Yes, I did a U-turn. Only a stupid driver would drive straight on when seeing the road ahead has been blown up and is no longer passable.
“To support Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak who has been accused of stealing billions of ringgit, and a dumb corrupt Umno, would make me a traitor to my country.
“Hence, the U-turn,” Mahathir said in a blog posting tonight.
He added that only “idiots or corrupt people” would still support Najib and ignore the international condemnations in relation to the 1MDB scandal.
Mahathir also responded to the prime minister’s aide Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad who had accused the former prime minister of running down the country.
Mahathir listed a long list of international news reports highlighting serious corruption in Malaysia, stressing that it was not he alone who had raised such concerns.
“There are scores of similar reports in the media all over the world… But in Malaysia the mainstream media have never reported on 1MDB scandal after The Edge was forced to stop publication following a series of reports by it.
“The prime minister’s aide will not know about these reports as Najib’s supporters only read the local papers which are not allowed to publish anything exposing Najib’s misdeeds.
“The aide knows about what I said regarding Malaysia’s corruption probably through my blog and reports in the alternative media,” he said.
Calling Tengku Sariffuddin’s statement “stupid”, Mahathir pointed out that the “whole world has run down this nation”.
Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years until 2003, has sided with the opposition in a bid to oust Najib who he has accused of corruption.
Najib, who received multi-billion ringgit deposits in his personal bank accounts, denied the money was from 1MDB and claimed it was a “donation” from a member of the Saudi Arabia royal family.
Najib had denied wrongdoing or taking public funds for personal gain. – Malaysiakini