Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Malaysian PM Mahathir says may be prime minister for one-two years

Malaysian PM Mahathir says may be prime minister for one-two years

He and his supporters say the charge was politically motivated.

A royal pardon would reverse Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.

Mahathir was speaking by live video link from Kuala Lumpur to a Wall Street Journal conference in Tokyo.

The volatile relationship between the duo has dominated the country's political landscape for over three decades.

Mahathir also said he may bring a case against former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been accused of corruption.

But in 1998, they disagreed on how to tackle the Asian financial crisis and fell out.

In an astonishing U-turn past year, Anwar shook hands with Mahathir and agreed to join forces to oust scandal-tainted Najib. Mahathir sacked and jailed Anwar on charges of sodomy and corruption.

Asked about the possible prosecution of his predecessor, Mahathir said he thought that "in a short while", the government could have a case against Najib.

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1MDB is now under worldwide probes in at least six countries, including Switzerland and Singapore, over charges of money laundering and bribery.

He said: "The rakyat was overjoyed and unfortunately that put me under more pressure when it was realised by the government that we were ferrying so many voters".

Billions of dollars are believed to have been siphoned off from the fund, with most reportedly disappearing overseas, while $681 million also mysteriously appeared in Najib's personal bank accounts in 2013.

He said that Anwar, a former enemy turned ally, may be just a member of parliament for a while. He has ordered a travel ban on Najib and his wife and replaced the former attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali, who was appointed by Najib.

Najib set up 1MDB in 2009 and previously served as chairman of its advisory board.

Najib denies any wrongdoing in connection with losses at the fund.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made a telephone call to his Malaysian counterpart Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and congratulated him on assuming office as the new Prime Minister of Malaysia.

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