|If Kit Siang believes Mahathir's assassination tale, he's not telling|
The closest Dr Mahathir Mohamad got to being assasinated was in 2006, when "one person, or more than one person" sprayed pepper at the former PM. This happened at the height of his conflict with hand-picked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Dr Mahathir implied that the attack was a "deliberate attempt to silence him". A close friend of Dr Mahathir's, Nik Sapeia Nik Yusuff, was charged at a lower court for the pepper spray attack. The court convicted Nik Sapeia in 2010 but two years later the High Court reversed that decision. In 2015, the Appeals Court upheld the businessman's acquittal. And that was that.
But we all know that the attack won Mahathir immeasurable amount of sympathy and support to eventually defeat Pak Lah.
Earlier this month Dr Mahathir started talking about ending up killed like Aquino. I'm not sure how it started but remember wondering if Pakatan Harapan wouldn't actually benefit more from his assassination (in other words, I didn't take his assassination talk seriously). But then a day before Nomination Day, Mahathir claimed that his private jet could have been sabotaged and that he could have been killed. "I think this was planned by someone," he said. (Crying possible sabotage, Dr M says private jet could have crashed).
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia investigated the claim. The company that provides Dr M with his private jets also issued a statement (Private jet charter company says Dr M's plane was not sabotaged).
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia's statement dated 28 April:
1. The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has conducted an investigation following Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s allegation of sabotage against his private aircraft. Sabotage against an aircraft is an extremely serious allegation, which CAAM is duty bound to investigate thoroughly.2. The said aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger CL60 registered under Malta tail number 9H-VFD and operated by Vista Jet Limited, was reported as unable to depart from Subang to Langkawi on 27th April 2018.3. Thereafter, following the allegation of sabotage, on 28th April CAAM conducted a thorough investigation, including a verification of the aircraft documentation, physical inspection of the aircraft, and interviews with the pilots and maintenance personnel of Tun Mahathir’s private aircraft.
4. The aircraft’s documentation found that there is no recent reported defect except for air leakage from the left hand nose wheel, which was logged on 27th April 2018.
5. CAAM was also informed by the maintenance personnel that they found the left hand nose wheel tyre pressure to be low. They then serviced the tyre, and on monitoring the tyre pressure, found the tyre pressure to be dropping at 2psi per minute.6. CAAM noted from the VistaJet technical/journey log, page number 55778, that an entry was made by Vista Jet on 27th April 2018 stating that there was air leakage from the left hand nose tyre. However, the replacement of the tyre was unable to be carried out due to the non-availability of spares.7. CAAM also performed an inspection of the left nose wheel tyre, which matched and verified the reports of the aircraft’s maintenance personnel.8. Following our through investigation, CAAM has found that there was no indication whatsoever of any sabotage. The aircraft was unable to fly only due to a minor and routine technical fault, namely air leakage from the left hand nose wheel.9. Allegations of sabotage against an aircraft are extremely serious, and could impact the reputation of Malaysian aviation and the country as a whole, especially in this sensitive general election period. It is morally wrong to make such wild and false allegations for the sake of political gain.
Of course, Dr Mahathir has rejected the CAAM's findings (although he was silent on VistaJet's statement). "They said it was not sabotage... but how do they know. They did not do any research,” he said. Read h e r e.
There are still people out there who would believe whatever Mahathir says. But these are not quite the good, old pepper spray days of 2006, though. More and more people have grown skeptical. The Malaysian Digest, for example, has taken a dig at Dr Mahathir's "acting" h e r e. The same news portal had earlier predicted that the Old Man would be up to mischief in Desperate to win, Dr M may stage an attempted assassination.
I'm not sure if you noticed how quiet Mahathir's new friends in Pakatan Harapan have been. Where's the uproar and the racket from Kit Siang, Wan Azizah, and Mat Sabu when their Prime Minister-designate was so close to being assassinated? I don't know about you but their silence makes me wonder ...