Tuesday, February 21, 2006

$4.8 million handshake & called a Liar!

Would this effort be worth RM1 million?

Or, this duet will bring in RM1 million to charity?

How much is it worth for this handshake?

What about this? What's the value of this handshake?

What? This handshake is worth RM4.8 million (USD1.2 million)?

Who paid for it?

Mahathir said he doesn't know but he admit that's the price someone paid American lobbyist Jack Abramoff in order to secure a meeting between Mahathir and George Bush.

Abramoff was paid USD1.2 million to arrange a meeting in 2002 between US President George W. Bush and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Abramoff allegedly contacted presidential adviser Karl Rove on at least four occasions to help arrange the meeting. Finally, Rove’s office called to inform Abramoff that Dr Mahathir would soon get an official invitation from the White House.

In May 2002, Dr Mahathir met Bush in the Oval Office. The White House said the meeting was arranged through normal channels.

Abramoff had pleaded guilty to influencing members of Congress and their aides with offers of foreign travels and other benefits, and later seeking favours from them. He was believed to have routed lobbying fees through non-profit organisations to evade taxes or to hide the sources of the funds.

Dr Mahathir said today that the Government did not pay US$1.2 million to secure a meeting between him and Bush in 2002.

"It is true that someone paid the money but it was not the Government," he said. "I did not touch the money at all. In the US, it is a practice that if you want to meet their leader, you have to go through a lobbyist and the lobbyist has to be paid... That is their system. It is not corruption at all and it is very open, but they don’t reveal names," Mahathir said.

Dr Mahathir said the meeting was arranged by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. "They said I would be able to influence (Bush) in some way regarding his policies. "Secondly, it would be good for Malaysia if the relationship between the two countries improved, and I agreed with that. I thought I could do something good for the country."

After that, Mahathir called Bush, the biggest lier!

Would I be paid $100 for a handshake?

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