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country crippled by corruption with the deficit higher than estimates of $230 billion. he is making sweeping changes. banned fromen leaving the country. cashthan $217 million in and watches of been taken from them. the investigation is in full swing. lookout for new forms of foreign investment. this is a conversation with mahathir mohamad. >> 35 year since you first became prime minister, how is it different this time around? mahathir mohamad: it's a very big difference.
job,ast time i took on the everything was in place. proper government machinery and all i had to do ,as work within the rules, laws and use the machinery of government. now, it has been totally unless every ministry has been corrupted led by officers who were participating in the corruption. i i need to rebuild the full government. it doesn't mean the next person that can take over. success andind
sometimes we have to go right down the line before we can find one. quacks the finance minister has talked about concerns in the national debt, which appears to be 60% higher than estimated. how messy is it? how will you clean up the mess? mahathir mohamad: this involves money and we don't have enough money to make up for the losses. we have to find ways and means of reducing our expenditures. to do some of the projects that are not really needed at this moment. they may be needed later, but we can defer. the problem is much bigger than we thought, but we have ways and means to overcome this problem. i think we are well on the way
to recovery. haslinda: what is an achievable growth rate for you? steven: i am not so keen on growth rate. mahathir mohamad: we need to know what portion of gdp for example. gdpe are including the money borrowed from other countries, that would give us the wrong impression. i think growth is good. the figures of the performance of the economy as felt by the people. haslinda: investors have been spooked by the uncertainty and the development here. do you think the message can be delivered in a better way? mahathir mohamad: it is a general phenomenon experienced by almost the whole world
because of the prospect of trade wars between china and the u.s. it's not something local. what is happening now is people are coming back with their assets they want to invest. it takes time for them to make decisions about investment. they have expressed confidence that we are on the right track. haslinda: when you look at your advisory council, many of them are from your previous administration. you have talked about reviving policies. policies faces an old prepare malaysia for now and the future? why should wead: throw away the baby together with the water? ideas of the past
are growth of the economy. they can be used, we will use them. at the same time, we're thinking of ways of stimulating the economy. haslinda: what other ways? are somemohamad: there fears about the power of the family. decisionsant anymore to be made by individuals. processed andt be we don't want the family to have too much power. we will give power to parliament in the case of selecting officers. mahathir mohamad: we have seen very many high-level resignations since you became
prime minister, the attorney , how challenging has it been for you to govern a country with minimal leadership and power? mahathir mohamad: these people they resigned or they are forced to resign because they have done wrong things during the previous government. , that isr example wrong. mahathir mohamad: what qualities do you think the next central bank governors should have? what should the priorities be? for example,mad: when land was bought by the billion, theyor 2
don't need the land. they gave money to the government. land.lion for bid for haslinda: how would you describe the transition of leadership so far? hugeteam discovering garbage bags filled with shredded documents. mahathir mohamad: you have to investigate every information we get about wrongdoing. the shredding of documents and all that, we will catch the people doing that and they will have to pay the consequences. in a time we look department, we are finding a lot of things that indicate that in the past there was lots of wrongdoing. we have to investigate all of
we will have a longer time where we are collecting documents and evidence. this is going to be a long drawn out thing. cases whichseveral will be put before the court. haslinda: have you been surprised by the depth of the scandal? there are many. mahathir mohamad: i'm very surprised. when wewhat happened were campaigning. once we had access to the ministries, wehe are finding a lot of small cases which are no less serious. and area that we have to have several investigators.
this includes the police, the ag, all of these people are investigating. there could be some overlap. the evidencehere worthwhile for us. haslinda: one of the things being investigated around the world is between switzerland and singapore. what have you learned? mahathir mohamad: we want to know what they have found out. so they caneration make the case watertight. haslinda: you are sitting on frozen assets, including an indication of how much assets they are sitting on? mahathir mohamad: we know how much money they have.
government decided the money was not theirs. they were not making any claim. we know the money is ours. andre going to make a claim prove ownership of the money. haslinda: give us a rough figure how much you'll be claiming? $4.5 billion.ad: haslinda: how about goldman sachs? you said you would like to pull back some of the money they made from the case. mahathir mohamad: we will do that. haslinda: will you take legal action? do you think there is a case? mahathir mohamad: that is for the ag to decide, not me. given a 10% commission on the money they made.
this means that the interest rate has gone up because we get 90% of what was borrowed. we have to trick pay interest on 100%. this is not tenable. far from the commission, we have a very high interest rate. normally borrows at less. haslinda: when you look at how the scandal has gone far and wide, what do you think could be put in place to ensure such a scandal doesn't happen again? mahathir mohamad: we cannot allow borrowing above the ceiling fixed by the government. by 20xceeded the ceiling times. that is wrong. we would not allow that anymore. onlinda: i want to touch
malaysia's relationship with china. you talked about needing to review some of the projects with chinese companies. once the reason behind that? mahathir mohamad: the cost is too high and we cannot afford it. we will have to slow down because we don't have the money. the previous government wanted to borrow money from china. nothing that people here are being employed. this is not a fair contract. we want to have a fair contract. on the other hand, chinese investors wanting to bring technology and capital here, that is welcome. as we welcome other countries. haslinda: how would you describe
malaysia's relationship with china? what kind of relationship are you hoping to have? mahathir mohamad: it has always been very good. china is our biggest trading partner. we are continuing with that. we have met the chinese abbasid are. ambassador. we have met the business people, including jack ma. they seem to understand. they will come back and invest more in malaysia. haslinda: is there any reason to fear a china that is growing in influence in the world? we have tohamad: balance things. haslinda: what do you make of the golden belt militia -- initiative? mahathir mohamad: the golden
road thing is something that china needs. used that. this before was proposed. they should increase the capacity of the link between china and europe by having bigger trains and longer trains. just like in the sea, when the need for oil group, people build bigger and bigger tankers. on land, they use the same railway. that capacity is not good enough to handle the huge change it is taking place now. they can build better
locomotives, better tracks -- trucks. they can carry more goods and maybe people. haslinda: there needs to be a balance and that balance is with india and japan. mahathir mohamad: every country dominate they to world. i think the wealth of the world should be shared. haslinda: your thoughts on president trump? mahathir mohamad: he is material . that,ou have a man like you need to be conscious. ♪
kim is a great person to do business with. haslinda: can trump who changes his mind about issues every other day? mahathir mohamad: you need to be cautious. you need to know whether this is for real or not. haslinda: how would you deal with a man like that? mahathir mohamad: bike with any other normal person. nobody is perfect. everybody has weaknesses. ashave to deal with them well as their strengths. haslinda: do you see president trump attending the global world order? mahathir mohamad: this is a case , it's american president questionable now. his own party doesn't seem to
back him. can he picked on malaysia the way he has with other allies? mahathir mohamad: we have to find ways of conquering that. before,been in debt with a currency crisis we were nearly bankrupted, but we came out of it. haslinda: which other nation do you see claim the leadership role? mahathir mohamad: no nation. we should share the world. haslinda: not even japan? china? mahathir mohamad: this is the cause of all tension, when you have people trying to be leaders of the world. we should be equal partners. haslinda: what role would malaysia play? mahathir mohamad: we are against war. we don't want warships in our waters. if they want to pass through,
ok. i think it's a bad thing to be stationed here. that will result in the other party trying to outdo you and there will be more warships. is making the seas safe from pirates. for that, we need smaller boats. together between all the countries. haslinda: malaysia shares the waters with singapore. our relations better now? mahathir mohamad: that has been quite ok because they are our nearest neighbor. they have issues when he to settle. i think we can negotiate that. haslinda: what are these issues?
is there a resolution in sight? mahathir mohamad: we have to sit down and talk with them like civilized people. haslinda: the rail project is been suspended. once the thinking behind that and when do you see the implementation of the project? mahathir mohamad: it depends on how much time we have and the need it. this is a very short line. a high-speed train must move for it to be worthwhile and time-saving. the time-saving is about one hour. with local airlines, many people would prefer flying which is a much shorter time. train ishe high-speed not something people would be willing to pay premium prices for. haslinda: how do you see countries working better
together? mahathir mohamad: we can benefit from each other. the expertise of singapore. we need singapore to invest in malaysia because it is much cheaper here. there dollar is three times the value. will savemalaysia singapore a lot of money. they will be much more profitable. haslinda: you touched on the weakness of the currency. do you think it should be higher? mahathir mohamad: i think this is actually the problem arising from the state of the world's economy. strengthen ouro engagement. haslinda: what is the value? mahathir mohamad: that would be
good. haslinda: you don't sound concerned about leaving that behind. when you think about how much you put into the country and building the nation, what would you like to leave behind? as far as i'mad: concerned, if i can achieve what i set out to do, that is fine by me, whether people appreciate it or not is not relevant. haslinda: what would you like to do for the country? mahathir mohamad: to grow once again and turn around the economy. to do that in the shortest possible time. haslinda: thank you so much for your time today. mahathir mohamad: you're welcome. it, 35a: there you have years since first becoming prime
emily: in february 2007, drew faust made history when she was appointed president of one of the most prestigious and storied institutions in the world, becoming the first woman president of harvard university. a civil war historian and author, faust le led the university for a decade, tackling immigration and same-sex social clubs and raising record amounts of capital, all while fighting to prove that an ivy league education is worth the rapidly rising costs. as she passes the torch to her successor, faust opened up about her most recent and next chapter. joining me t