LANGKAWI: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday claimed that the possible sabotage on his private jet on Friday was part of the plot to stop him and other opposition pact leaders from standing in the 14th General Election (GE14).
The former premier alleged that there was a plot involving those in power to prevent opposition leaders from arriving at the GE14 nomination centres or having their nomination papers rejected for suspicious reasons.
Dr Mahathir, who is standing as PKR candidate for the Langkawi parliamentary seat, claimed that there was an attempt to prevent the opposition candidates from arriving at nomination centres on time using unlawful tactics.
Dr Mahathir claimed that he himself almost missed arriving in Langkawi for the nomination process yesterday after his private jet suffered a punctured wheel, which he claimed was possibly an act of sabotage.
"I live in Kuala Lumpur, I thought that it was not that difficult to fly to Langkawi but suddenly my private aircraft's front wheel suffered damage.
"That could have led to a serious accident which could have been fatal so I take it as a very serious matter because I may have missed the chance to file my nomination papers and stand as a candidate for this general election," he said in his speech in a gathering with the Chinese community in Kuah on Saturday evening.
Dr Mahathir said the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) had regarded his claim as serious and said the aircraft was unfit to fly.
"I don’t mean to accuse the CAAM but it has acknowledged the aircraft could not fly because of the damage (to the front wheel).
"Was it because of sabotage or not, the CAAM could not determine it before carrying out an investigation but I believe it was the work of those who wanted to prevent me from standing as a candidate in the general election," he said.
He further alleged that certain quarters had acted as if they knew that there was a damage to his private jet and had prevented his close friends from lending their aircraft to him.
"I had sought the help from three of my close friends and they said they could not lend me their aircraft and one of them even told me that he had received a warning from certain people not to lend his aircraft to me.
"It seemed to me that certain people had known that my aircraft was damaged and tried to make sure that there was no other aircraft available to fly me to Langkawi.
"Fortunately, I had another friend who was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore but he was willing to divert the flight to send me to Langkawi."
"So if the CAAM said my claim is serious, I must say that it is serious because I might have missed sending my nomination papers and could not contest in this general election and this would make things easy for BN (Barisan Nasional)," he said.
Dr Mahathir further claimed that several hopefuls from the opposition pact also had their nomination rejected for certain reasons, some of them were due to baseless excuses.
"We found out that during the nomination process, some officers had acted after getting instructions from the authorities, particularly from Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
"I am making this public claim because I have made many allegations against Najib but he did not take any action against me because if he does that, he would have to take the action against the Wall Streets Journal, the United States Department of Justice and the Switzerland Attorney General and others who had accused Najib of stealing from the country," he said.
Dr Mahathir said the opposition would take cases of opposition hopefuls who had their nomination papers rejected, to the court.