Since morning, people were streaming in and out of the Perdana Leadership Foundation, which is nestled next to a lake in a corner of the administrative capital of Putrajaya. The building, which was meant to serve as Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s post-retirement enclave to ponder on statesman-like issues such as global conflicts, has now turned into the nerve centre of the new government after the 92-year-old politician was sworn-in as Malaysia 7th Prime Minister last week.
Among those who made an appearance this afternoon were Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif and former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, who arrived at about the same time in separate vehicles. Md Raus was the first to meet Mahathir. The meeting comes in the wake of Pakatan Harapan lawmaker Mohamed Hanipa Maidin calling on him to resign before he is sacked or made to face a tribunal due to the allegation that his appointment as chief justice violated the Federal Constitution. After him, Abdul Gani met the prime minister. The former AG was heading the special task force on the RM2.6 billion and SRC International issues related to Mahathir’s predecessor, Najib Abdul Razak. Midway through the probe, he was replaced due to “health reasons” with Mohamed Apandi Ali. However, Abdul Gani denied his health did not allow him to continue in his role. This sparked off speculation that it was an attempt to stifle the probe, which the previous administration denied.
Since winning the general election, Mahathir has repeatedly trained his guns on Abdul Gani’s successor, accusing Apandi of concealing evidence related to 1MDB. Yesterday, the prime minister announced that Apandi would go on immediate leave while a check by Malaysiakini revealed that he has been slapped with a travel ban. Apandi has denied Mahathir’s allegation, stressing that his conscience is clear and that he acted according to the rule of law. Earlier, auditor-general Madinah Mohamad was spotted at Yayasan Perdana between 10.30am and noon. However, it could not be ascertained if this was related to the auditor-general’s report on 1MDB, which the Najib administration placed under the Official Secrets Act while Mahathir has now asked for the document to be de-classified. This was followed by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the home minister-designate, who spent more than an hour in the building.
Other notable visitors included Shahril Shamsuddin, who is president and group chief executive officer of Sapura Energy Berhad. Mahathir’s son Mokhzani was also present. Later, former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram arrived followed by Bina Puri Holdings Bhd group managing director Tee Hock Seng, inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun and federal police commercial crimes director Amar Singh.
Mahathir was also visited by Pakatan Harapan leaders, including finance minister-designate Lim Guan Eng and his wife Betty Chew, Anthony Loke, Liew Chin Tong and Gobind Singh Deo.