Najib slams Mahathir for blaming ‘The Loaf’ closure on government and denying ownership – here’s what happened

Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government should not be blamed for the closure of The Loaf business franchise which Dr Mahathir founded.
The Straits Times

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Sunday (Apr 15) claimed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has an alleged tendency to shift blame onto others, without himself taking any responsibility, reported The Malay Mail Online.

Najib’s criticism came after Dr Mahathir reportedly accused the government of closing down premium Japanese-inspired bakery The Loaf, apparently founded by Dr Mahathir.

In a The Straits Times report, Dr Mahathir said the bakery franchise was forced to shut down after a potential buyer withdrew from a business deal due to pressure from the Inland Revenue Board.

At a Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) gathering, Najib said: “You can’t blame the government for everything.”

“If prices go up you blame the government, if fuel goes up you blame the government…even when your bakery closed shop and you blame the government.”

The Loaf abruptly shuttered on Thursday (Apr 12) after 12 years of operation due to the business failing to cease its losses in recent years, said Andrew Heng, liquidator for financial advisory firm Ferrier Hodgson.

A closure notice was posted at the bakery’s Sogo Kuala Lumpur (KL) outlet the next day, reported the Oriental Daily.

Najib said Dr Mahathir’s insistence on blaming the government for the matter served to typify Pakatan Harapan (PH) as he sought to discourage voters from supporting the party on May 9.

“You cannot support a political party like this, which only knows how to blame the government for everything,” said Najib.

In response to the Oriental Daily report, Dr Mahathir denied holding any stake in The Loaf despite documents that implied his ownership, according to The Star Online.

“I only have 200 units of shares with a tobacco company and also with Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), and even that was awarded to me when I launched their products when I was the Prime Minister,” he said in a statement at Felda Bukit Tangga on Friday.

On Saturday (Apr 14), Barisan Nasional’s strategic communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To posted on his Facebook page supposed proof of Dr Mahathir’s ownership of The Loaf.

The post included forms from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) that listed Dr Mahathir as a director and shareholder of M&M Consolidated Sdn Bhd, the joint venture company that runs the bakery.

He also apparently owned 10.062 million shares in M&M Consolidated.

“For a long time, Tun Mahathir said that The Loaf was his company but suddenly when the company shut down, Mahathir denied any stake,” said See-To.