Dr Tan Seng Giaw is criticised for saying that there is no sufficient proof to link Najib Razak with the 1MDB scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Tan Seng Giaw, a DAP veteran who recently made headlines after he was not named as a candidate for the Kepong constituency which he served for 40 years, lambasted the opposition camp for frequently saying that the country is going bankrupt.

Tan, who was born and raised in Kota Bharu, Kelantan explained that he was merely stating the truth and has no agenda to turn his back against the opposition party.

“Malaysia is not going bankrupt like what Tun Mahathir (Mohamad) said. I am telling you the truth because I find out the truth myself.

“During the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forum last year which I attended, I received a report on Malaysia and I read it. After Singapore, it is Malaysia and in South East Asia our rank is quite high.

“Last month in Jakarta during the IMF conference they said the same thing, and I purposely asked them, don’t you think that the 1MDB scandal will drive Malaysia towards bankruptcy? They replied ‘there is no such thing’.

“This is an international organisation. They don’t owe us a living. Is IMF telling us a lie?” asked the former Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chair.

Tan was heavily criticised recently for saying that there was not enough proof to link Prime Minister Najib Razak with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

Instead, Tan said that the authorities should investigate the company’s former CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and other related parties.

‘What have I done wrong?’

Tan said that following the statement he was now being called a running dog and a traitor by his own party members.

“Now they are calling me a running dog, in Malay ‘anjing suruhan’. What have I done wrong? By speaking the truth? They say I received Najib’s money; I must be a billionaire now.”

Speaking further, Tan disclosed that he had read the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB several times and had not found any proof that Najib was involved in the scandal.

“What do you want me to say? That Najib is guilty? Please. How can you say someone is guilty when there is no proof. What happens to ‘innocent until proven guilty’ (principle),” he added.

In defending his views on Najib, Tan cited the example of Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister who was sacked from Umno and the cabinet for alleged abuse of power and sexual misconduct.

“I feel the same about Anwar. I feel that he was unfairly treated and there was no concrete proof of his misdeeds. Now the person who implicated Anwar is with the opposition.

“Why can we say that Anwar is not guilty but say that Najib is guilty? Where is the proof? That is all I am asking,” he said in an interview at his clinic.

Anwar was first sent to jail in April 1999 for corruption and sodomy – two charges that he denied until today. The incarceration of Anwar led to a nationwide protest, dubbed the ‘reformasi’ demanding Mahathir, who was the then prime minister, to step down.

However, after falling out with Najib, Mahathir is now in the opposition camp and had formed his own party and expressed support for Anwar to eventually succeed him as prime minister if Pakatan wins GE14.

Asked if he is going to defend his Kepong parliamentary seat, the dermatologist said that he will not stand in the coming general election, adding that he holds no grudge against anyone in his party.

“I am not going to contest. How do I feel after being dropped? I don’t feel anything,” said Tan.