1. I don’t know if it is true about HRH The Sultan of Johore is throwing a challenge to me over the development of J.B.

2. Maybe it is only The Star which is interpreting what HRH says as a challenge to me.

3. But unless HRH denies he is challenging me, I will take the report of The Star as the truth.

4. I admit I am at a disadvantage here. While people can say what they like about me, and I welcome their freedom to say so, I hope that in responding to HRH’s challenge I will not be arrested and jailed without trial. If it is with trial, I welcome the arrest.

5. Now, what did I say? Nothing more than repeating a report by Bloomberg in the press. But I appreciate why Bloomberg is not challenged nor denied.

6. What did Bloomberg say in its report on Nov 22 last year? It said that a China Chinese company will build Forest City in J.B. which can accommodate 700,000. It went on to say that plane loads of China Chinese are being flown in to view the man-sized model (with pictures) and they have and will buy most of the properties in Forest City.

7. I doubt if many Johore Malays and Chinese are buying or going to buy these apartments. There just aren’t that many Malaysians to buy all these properties.

8. Bloomberg, in the same report mentioned 60 other development similar to Forest City, and these are also being sold to mainland Chinese.

9. Looking back to 1819, when Sultan Ali of Johore did not lease Singapore to the British, the Temenggong signed the lease. And look at Singapore today. A part of Johore is now a foreign country – well developed no doubt, but a foreign country.

10. There will be in all more than a million foreigners living in J.B Forest City and the 60 other development. These new places will not become a foreign country, but it will have an inordinate percentage of foreign people. If they stay long enough they will be entitled to become citizens of Malaysia.

11. Yes, I promoted Foreign Direct Investment. But it was not about buying land in Malaysia, developing them and selling them to foreigners, who will stay there.

12. FDI is about investment in the manufacturing industry. Malaysian companies will construct the building and Malaysians will work in the industries. They will acquire skills and start their own manufacturing business.

13. Malaysian contractors are completely capable of building all kinds of buildings and develop land. We don’t need foreigners to do this. Look at Malaysia today. 90% or more of these new buildings and development are by Malaysian companies. Majority of the buyers are Malaysians, and they are the people who stay there.

14. But when foreigners buy land, there is not even an inflow of capital. Much of the money will be borrowed locally. And they can do their business with their own banks.

15. Whatever foreign companies earn will be expatriated, will result in outflow of capital. When the scheme is introduced wherein you can buy property in China and get one flat or house free in Malaysia, no profit will be made in Malaysia – therefore no taxes will be paid to the Malaysian Government.

16. Let all transactions be transparent. Publish all documents about the investments, the number of workers, their home countries, the buyers, the banks which finance and all expatriation of funds. Do this honestly. No hiding. Please don’t ask a certain Tunku Aziz to verify. He may have been the Malaysian Head of Transparency International, but he approves completely the stealing and the corruption of 1MDB.

17. So let the truly international Transparency International examine the exposed official documents. Let the people see the documents to prove their genuineness.

18. Looking East is not about asking the countries of the East to buy land in Malaysia, develop and sell to the people from these countries. Yes, we have encouraged foreigners to make Malaysia their second home. But their numbers are very small. Looking East is not about mass immigration of hundreds of thousands. It is about Malaysians learning about how these Eastern countries developed themselves.

19. It is easy to accuse me of being a racist. I have been called a Malay ultra before.

20. This labelling, this demonising actually expose the lack of credible arguments against what I do or say.

21. It reflects a fundamental lack of basis for the arguments against me.

22. This is a multiracial country. People of different ethnicity, language, religion, culture and even economic well-being have lived in this country in peace.

23. In many countries even a slight difference in the interpretation of their common religion has resulted in violent conflicts and wars. But relatively speaking Malaysia is stable and peaceful.

24. It is stable and peaceful because we accept each other as we are. During my 22 years as PM, there were no significant racial clashes. Differences, yes. But no violence. And the country grew.

25. Had I been a racist, my periodwould have seen turmoil and regression in this country.

26. You can dispute what I say. That is your democratic right.

27. I dare The Star to publish what I say in full. It is a measure of the Government fear of the truth that the mainstream media is strictly controlled.

28. I will accept this article being totally blacked-out because we are living in a kleptocratic country where truth is anathema, only to be whispered but never said aloud.

29. I am a Malaysian born in Kedah.

30. Malaysia is my home and the object of my loyalty. If I have to be accused of les majeste for what I say, so be it.

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
16 January 2017

P/S: In the case of Hong Kong and Macau, Pondicherry, Goa and other French and Portuguese enclaves in India, upon the colonial masters giving up their empire, these territories were returned to the original countries. All occupied lands were also returned to the original owners of these territories.

The edited version of this letter was published in the letters pages of The Star newspaper, Jan 17, 2017.

10 thoughts on “J.B. DEVELOPMENT

  1. HouseWife Jan 20,2017 3:52 AM

    Assalamualaikum Tun,

    I think most probably, the rich and famous person or persons have a vast investments and interests in the JB FC – is that why they are so angry when Tun brought up this issue? They are always so angry. Why are they always so angry? They never seem to sit back a moment and wrestle their minds to see whether what Tun said might have some truth or at least something to think about. But no they just shoot everything straight away, nothing you said is ever right. It’s not like Tun has the power to take away the throne or dethrone the MO1’s government. Tun is merely speaking on behalf of us who are too afraid to voice out. We, the selfish helpless people, hide behind Tun and let Tun take all the beatings. We say we are fighting against injustices and corruption with Tun but we leave Tun behind when we felt we were not being appreciated or ignored. Tun has given all his energy and time for us. It’s we who should be taking care of Tun now.

    Tun, I think all these swindling 1MDB, pak arab RM2.6 billion ‘donation’, FDI, JB FC sagas and episodes have never been about helping improving the people’s standard of living or shrinking the gap between the poor and the rich. It has always been about them – the rich, the famous, the elites, the crown-persons. It’s all about filling their bank accounts. Trading ie making business is the rich man’s passion. They are addicted to wealth and are so disillusioned by it that they become greedier and corrupted. In their capitalist domain, the rich live by the sweat of the poor. Very unfortunate for Malaysia, having them as our leaders and rulers lead to undesirable consequences to the people’s state of living and well-being. How long can we stay in pain in the the state of autocracy and tyranny? We want not only freedom but also security.

    Tun, I was wondering for an ordinary citizen, a simple housewife, how much does it cost to stay a day or night in JB FC? What jobs are waiting for us there? Are the Johor Malaysians be the dominant players or just playing supporting roles? Do Johor Malaysians and other Malaysian citizens get to be bosses and live luxuriously in the crown-southern ‘country’ – or we just be their maids, cleaners, sweepers, security guards, janitors, drivers, labourers…you know la Tun, supporting roles. I think most the rich and famous cannot live by without these ‘little people’ and their supporting roles. So we shouldn’t be afraid to voice out for bigger ringgit too into our bank accounts ya. JB FC will become the next Hong Kong or even Macau if money money money get too much in their heads.

    It’s time we should stand for our rights. We too should have a say on how to administer our land, be they in the south, north, east or west. Every corner of the land will affect all Malaysians as we are one. We must revolutionized our lives, not be afraid to changes. If we don’t try to change now, how can we know our own strength and who we are. Actually who are we? Cowards? We can’t be like Tun but at least something like Tun – a true original Malaysian from Kedah who’s not afraid to speak out.

    Even if nothing changes, we still have the power in our hands. We’ll make sure law and order and justice are on our side. If anyone try take them away from us again, then they can expect a showdown. We will not be stepped on again. It’s time we fight for real independence – for equal share of wealth, freedom of speech and expression, rights to free healthcare and education. If they can afford such grand large scale development JB FC, I’m sure they can do these little things for the poor and unfortunate Malaysians. The point is there must never be an increase or widen the gap between the poor and the rich ever again in whatever development undertaken by any government. The poor has done their bit to spend on so little they have to spur the economy, to raise their children to be good law abiding citizens – so give them what they earned ie a good decent living not luxuries nor recognition, just give them good shelter, job opportunities. I think they are thankful even if they get supporting roles as long as they can get food on the tables. These people are your first priorities not your bank accounts.

    Well Tun, you have done all you could and it’s up to the people to decide – to live as it is now or to have better living, be happy and free.
    May Allah Bless and Protect Tun and family Always. May Allah grant you great wealth in health, happiness and knowledge. Take extra care in your safety and Thank you Tun.

  2. sudin Jan 20,2017 2:20 AM

    …and Bangsa Johor folks (mostly of Malay ethnicity), especially those living in and around JB, are openly talking and complaining about hardships in life.
    That they are not just merely bystanders, but somehow slowly getting squeezed by those multi-billion ringgit development projects.

    Remember when Pak Dol PM5 lied to Malaysians, “Majority of Johoreans wanted to cancel the crooked bridge….”?
    In time, this Najib regime will tell/lie to all Malaysians, “Majority of Bangsa Johor folks support those projects….!!!”

  3. sudin Jan 20,2017 1:54 AM

    ssalam Tun.

    I’m hearing stories about a new mr. 10% down there…

  4. Mohamad Jan 19,2017 10:56 PM

    Dear Tun

    I wish to add that Forest City has been granted a “duty free zone” status. Secondly the high speed railway runs through Forest City, but avoids Johor Bahru. This means priority has been for the Forest City.

  5. HBT456 Jan 19,2017 8:22 PM

    Life will go on as usual.

    42. It high time for politics, therefore, as voters, we should treat what is being shared in the news and social media as national interaction.

    43. To tango, you need a partner, and that is the fundamental requirement to tango, no matter where we are on the map.

  6. HBT456 Jan 19,2017 8:12 PM


    32. If the communist central party in beijing could allowed the biggest buddha statue build on the reclaimed land in south china sea administered by sar, hong kong, you rasa pakistan boleh buat apa kerana tanah tersebut bukan tanahmu?

    33. What is right?

    34. What is wrong?

    35. When general election is called, kita sama2 akan tahu siapakah dapat undi majoriti, bukan?

    36. Nuclear arm race is better off than single religion race or wise versa, karl?

    38. What if both races also do not get sambutan?

    39. What can the voters do?

    40. Nothing.

    41. Whether we like it or not, life will as usual.

  7. Karl Iskandar Jan 19,2017 12:08 PM

    In the end, it will be business as usual.

    A business decision will ultimately justify the political breakaway point and eventualy sets a new benchmark to observe.

    Small cane. Big cane. Both can be employed according to a need to use basis. Politics of deterrence if you like.

    Big China coming after small China. Good if they can embrace one another.

    Welcome Big Brother!

  8. SSLEE Jan 18,2017 6:06 PM

    Dear Tun Dr. Mahathir,
    My worst fear had turn into reality. Remember Tun’s pervious article on FDI, which I had posted my comment dated Jan 8, 2017 10.47pm I repost:
    “Allow me to point out some misaligned facts on Forest City Mega Project in Johor that Tun might unintentionally/unaware of, thus omitting it from your write-up. I derived the fact from:
    Tun attack on Forest City Project had stir up the hornet’s nest in our RUKUN NEGARA Principles, namely principle Number 2: LOYALTY TO THE KING AND COUNTRY.
    Tun write-up can even be misconstrued as disrespecting the Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
    If Tun had read the:, Tun should had realize that Forest City Mega Project is the brainchild and part owner of HRH The Sultan of Johor thus if Tun keep attacking Forest City Mega Project for sure HRH will respond and indeed HRH did respond. The headline ‘Johor Ruler slams Dr. M over Chinese investment comments’ sounded loud and clear. The sultan of Johor has said he is “deeply offended and hurt” by the political spin used by certain politicians against mainland Chinese investment in the state, as stated in
    Yes! Tun’s article had deeply offended the Sultan of Johor and hurt HRH feeling to the point HRH is visibly upset and rightly condemns Tun; “You are putting political interests above Malaysian interests. You are creating fear, using race, just to fulfill your political motive and you are not stupid but just selfish and opportunistic.” Tun’s implication that based on history, where Johor had given up Singapore to the British in the past, might have its history repeating itself where Johor MIGHT give up sovereignty of the Forest City to this newly arrived Mainland Chinese residents is uncalled for and unfounded. Everyone who had studied history knew how the Federation of Malaya (Federation of 11 states: 9 Malay states and 2 of the British Straits Settlements, Penang and Malacca) gained its independence on August 31, 1957. And later managed to include Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore to form Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963.Tun knew very well why Singapore was kicked out/expelled on 9 August 1965 by our beloved Bapa Malaysia the first Prime Minister; Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman.

    Dear Tun Dr. Mahathir,
    I supported and understand Tun’s gallant mission in the 1983 and 1993 Constitution amendments. Article 66(5) that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong(King) if for any reason is not available to sign a Bill passed by both Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara after being presented for 15 days, the bill will automatically become law (1983). The amendments of Articles 32, 38, 42, 63, 72 and 181 automatically removed the legal immunity of the royalty (1993). I supported it because at that time that was the Right Thing to do to protect and honor the institution of the Malay Rulers.
    But Tun is wrong now in continuously attacking Forest City and with it, the royalty of Johor. Now I can only hope upon hope that Tun might realize the mistake sooner and it will be Best to see Tun’s magnanimous and kind gesture in issuing an apology to The HRH Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar to put an end to the Forest City saga.
    Tun’s inappropriate article: J.B. DEVELOPMENT which Tun dare The Star to publish which The Star complied and make public the article; minus Tun’s personal disparaging remark on Tunku Aziz.
    Tun’s offensive replies did not do any good on Tun’s reputation and did not add credit to Tun’s eagerness in righting what is wrong with our current MO1 government and save our beloved Malaysia from going into an un-returnable spiraling downhill. Tun did not win any new friends and even Tun’s old friend and former business partner Mr. Koon Yew Yin had this to say:

    Dear Tun Dr. Mahathir,
    Tun is wise enough to admit that Tun is at a disadvantage here and if Tun keeps on launching war in four fronts with current offensive style of writings; picking up a fight with everyone that have different view with Tun; then sooner or later Tun will make more enemies than new friends. Please choose wisely what Tun is fighting for; and who is Tun/Malaysian enemy No. 1?
    I am deeply saddened that my hope and many more Malaysians’ hope of seeing a new government after G14 will remain an UN-fulfilled dream, making it so near yet so far. God have mercy on us. Please Save Malaysia while it is still not too late.

    PS: My post on FDI:
    Dear Tun Dr. Mahathir,
    Come GE14 if you need me to campaign in Malay hinterland to tell them my story as Chinese Malaysian, a true Malaysian at heart and soul and a proud Kedahan. I am ready at your disposal anytime, just give me a call.
    If Tun’s fight is for saving Malaysia from falling into a failed state then count me in as one of your strong supporter but if Tun’s only interest is to make a political comeback through Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia then I am sorry I cannot be part of it; but anyhow I wish Tun a successful endeavor with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
    I have a dream. I dream of the day I will call myself as Malaysian and if you insist that I put more word in front of Malaysian. I will say I am a Proud Kedahan Malaysian. Tun please makes my dream come true someday?

    Thank you

    Yours truly,
    SS LEE

  9. ongwaic Jan 18,2017 4:00 PM

    The most scary thing is after investing $140 billion and making Malaysia part of its grand (political-military) strategy under Najib, China has an interest in protecting its investments and seeing the Najib administration continue. China is now a powerful new force aligned against the opposition. Yet some people are so happy thinking China is on their side. KDN is sending 10 officers to China- what do you think they will learn there?

    ECRL is awarded as a sole source contract and was set up to channel Treasury funds to 1MDB. If an investigation of 1MDB proceeds, it would find this in court and it would make sense for China to want to block such an investigation. Because under a transparent government, this would result in a block on future investment by the company concerned. Separately, a transparent government would also want to block further Chinese expansion into strategic assets even though it welcomes Chinese investment.

  10. Raja Chulan Jan 17,2017 1:44 PM

    Dear Dr M, I was born in Johore. I am in my 50’s now. I fully support you on what you are saying on this subject matter. You did many good thing for this country. I have benefited much while you were our PM. It saddens me how later PMs have squandered away our country’s potential. Yes, you too have made mistakes but never to enrich yourself. I sincerely hope you will continue with the struggle to keep the many reckless and greedy politicians (and royalties) in check before the next GE. God willing we will defeat them (next GE) and send them to where they rightly belong. I have read the speech that you had made at the launch of PRIBUMI last week and I fully support you and the party on its objectives and mission. God willing when they are defeated, you and your team will have the opportunity to put Malaysia right again. This will require a complete revamp of many things in Malaysia. Most important of all -to end the ‘feudalistic’ mindset of the Malays.

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