KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes that his statement that the 9/11 incident in the United States was staged would not hamper Malaysia's move to attract foreign direct investment.
"I have said this many times even when I was the prime minister. I was very nasty about America and Jews. But we still have the foreign direct investment.
"However, we cannot rely on foreign direct investments alone. We must build on our own system," said Dr Mahathir after launching a book Civilisations, Nomadic Migrations, Empires and The Trail of Islam, at the Islamic Arts Museum, here.
The book which entails the history of mankind, origin and commonality of major religions, is written by Syed Salem Albukhary.
Dr Mahathir was asked to elaborate on his statement on Wednesday and in his blog where he claimed the 9/11 attacks were staged as an excuse to mount attacks on the Muslim world.
Dr Mahathir said his statement was based on what he heard and saw on television.
"It sounds logical to me. Until today, you cannot even find scraps of the plane that crashed into the World Trade Centre and there is no picture of the other plane which was supposed to crash.
"The way the tower came crashing down was also funny. People who saw it were also not ordinary people. They were professional engineers and what they say is quite credible.
"I wish some television stations would consent to show the video as it is not long and only three hours. You can then see what I saw."
Dr Mahathir said there was fear among some people to say anything critical as they would be seen as accusing government of powerful countries of doing something wrong.
"But the government of powerful countries said lies to go to war.
"I have great respect for the Arabs but for them to hijack four planes is not very Arab. Just imagine the amount of planning that would be involved.
"They are not good at planning. They tie bomb to their body and crash."
To a question on whether his statement was a publicity stunt, Dr Mahathir said: "What do I gain? I am not going to be the prime minister anymore unless you want me to be ... you propose lah."
On the sand smuggling activities, Dr Mahathir said he was stressing on the issue previously so people could take action.
"Some people are selling a little bit of Malaysia at a time. If you cannot give away one territory then you go ahead giving sand."
Earlier in his speech, Dr Mahathir said that Islam was the most misunderstood religion in the world.
"Often it is misunderstood as a religion of the terrorists but the fact is Islam is a very peace and loving religion."