Tycoon Lee Kim Yew has decried what he claimed to be cyber-bullying by former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak after the latter took aim at him on social media over his links to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Lee (above) came into Najib's crosshairs after the businessperson criticised the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) for inviting the former prime minister convicted of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power, to officiate its event, calling it an embarrassment.
The tycoon maintained that Najib's 1MDB scandal had brought shame to the country internationally and criticised the former prime minister for trying to divert attention.
"It is weird for a former prime minister to resort to acts of cyber-bullying, cyber-gangsterism and making use of social media in attempting to divert attention from the facts.
"(He tried) to whitewash his own crimes as convicted by the court, by continuing his strategy using the 'malu apa' (what's to be ashamed of) campaign," Lee said in a statement.
He added that the "malu-apa" is setting a bad example for the future generation.
Lee noted that the Court of Appeal, which upheld Najib's conviction last December, had also described the former premier's role in the misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, a former 1MDB subsidiary, as a national embarrassment.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court had sentenced Najib to 12 years imprisonment and an RM210 million fine. Najib is still free pending his final appeal at the Federal Court.
"Trying to use the internet and the power of social media to whitewash the court decisions will not work," Lee said.
Defending Dr M's hotel shares
Najib, had among others, targeted Mahathir's shareholding in the Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel owned by Lee.
Lee defended the shareholding and said he sympathised with attacks against the 96-year-old Mahathir who Najib often refers to as "atok" (grandfather) on social media.
"Let me share the story of the hotel, which used to be one of the confidence symbols of the BN government and opened its door in October 1997 to assist the government amid the storm of the Asian financial crisis but couldn’t get any financial assistance from the government and was left in trouble when the rating agency unreasonably downgraded our 200 million bonds from 'A-rating' to 'unsecured' in 2004 despite the hotel being successfully completed.
"It was one year after his retirement that atok felt indebted and used his hard-earned saving to subscribe to one million shares through public offer.
"This was public knowledge. Has Najib not bought any public shares before? Why use it for dirty tactics and cheapskate defamation?" he said.
Lee added that he had faced "continued harassment" from cyber troopers and reserves his legal rights.
He said the world won't forget what happened with the 1MDB scandal and the right thing to do is for Najib to ask for forgiveness and cooperate in the extradition of businessperson Low Taek Jho, or better known as Jho Low, who is a key conspirator in the 1MDB scandal.