Pariah: I did not refer to anybody — Dr Mahathir


PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday he did not direct the word ‘pariah’ at anybody when commenting on Lynas Corporation recently.

“Who was I referring to?” he said when asked to comment on several Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members who lodged police report against him for using the word pariah.

Dr Mahathir reportedly said that Lynas should not be treated like a pariah as it had brought in big investments and job opportunities.

Following this remark, Kapar PKR members lodged a police report against the Prime Minister for using the word ‘pariah’ when making such comment as they alleged the use of the word had hurt the feelings of the Indian community.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was asked on the appointment of Jalil Rasheed, 37, as the new Chief Executive Officer of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) who was perceived as being too young besides the fact that his experience was mostly overseas and it was feared that he would not understand the economic direction of the Bumiputeras and Malays.

“I did not get information on the appointment. PNB is placed under (Tan Sri) Zeti Ungku Aziz, Zeti did not inform me about anything (the appointment),” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked on the need to change the poverty line in the country, the Prime Minister said: “There is a need. But it is not as bad as pointed out by these people who come here for one day and stay in big hotels and pass judgement.”

The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, reportedly said that the official figure on poverty in Malaysia was vastly inaccurate and did not reflect realities on the ground.

He claimed that the actual rate of poverty in Malaysia was 15 per cent. — Bernama