PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s questions with regard to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the purchase of a new private jet by the Government can be answered by making comparisons with other countries, says Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.
In a blogpost on Thursday, the Sabah state assembly speaker compared 1MDB to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, which was established in 1971, and noted that the jet was important to ensure the security of the Prime Minister.
“Malaysia has its 1MDB, which has just started and needs time to prove its viability.
“Investments are not meant for quick profit. They are meant for the long term so that the next generation will have something to look at after the oil has run dry,” he said, in answer to Dr Mahathir’s criticisms of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the latter’s own blog.
On the purchase of a new jet, Salleh, who is Sabah Umno deputy chairman, noted that all over the world, the cost of security for the head of government is high.
“The Special Branch has warned that Malaysia faces the risk of a terrorist attack, specifically from the Islamic State.
“If this is true then the security of the Prime Minister and Yang di-Pertuan Agong cannot be taken lightly, hence the need for suitable and efficient transportation for both the Prime Minister and the Agong,” he said.
Salleh added that taxpayers in the United States pay the equivalent of RM5bil annually on the security of President Barack Obama and his family, while the cost to British taxpayers for the security of former Prime Minister Tony Blair had been RM34mil yearly.
“I am not saying that since it costs a lot of money to protect the UK Prime Minister and the US President then this justifies doing the same.
“The point I am making is that security is not cheap and security here includes proper transportation for the heads of state such as the Prime Minister and the Agong,” he said.