Mahathir, Anwar step in as tensions flare within Malaysia's ruling alliance

15 May, 2018, 22:19 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Malaysia's ousted leader Najib blacklisted from leaving country

The order came amid widespread speculation that Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor might flee Malaysia as the new government reopens an investigation into billions of pounds missing from a state investment fund.

The reports filed before the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), accuse Najib of using his position as prime minister for "gratification", and for allegedly owning unexplained properties, according to Malaysia's The Star news website.

Malaysia's new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Sunday (May 13) that an anti-fake news law brought by the previous administration will be given "proper" definition, making it clear to the media and the public what is fake. Najib has denied any wrongdoing. Mahathir had crushed the opposition parties during his time in power but they found common cause in their determination to topple Najib as allegations mounted over 1MDB, and he became increasingly authoritarian.

"We have to take time. There are many faults committed by the previous government, but we can not do everything in one day, so you have to be patient".

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The 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister from 1981 to 2003, was sworn in on Thursday as the world's oldest elected leader, following a stunning election win that ousted the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition for the first time since the country gained independence from Britain in 1957. He went to his office on the first full working day since Mr. Najib lost May 9's national election. Stocks linked to the previous regime suffered, with low-priced carrier AirAsia dropping as much as 13 percent.

Mahathir also faced criticism for saying that a controversial law passed before the election that punishes "fake news" with up to six years in jail would be reviewed rather than revoked.

Malaysia is among the first few countries to introduce a law against it. Germany approved a plan past year to fine social media networks if they fail to remove hateful postings. US investigators say Najib's associates stole and laundered $4.5 billion from the fund, with some $700 million landing in Najib's bank account and around $30 million used to buy jewelry for his wife.

Mahathir plans to have a small Cabinet of up to 25 members, with at least 10 of the posts filled by next week. He said there was sufficient evidence for an investigation into Najib, in reference to the massive corruption scandal involving the 1MDB state fund that Najib set up and is being investigated in the United States and other countries.

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Lim's appointment represents Malaysia's political coming of age as the new coalition looks to solidify commitments to multiracial policies which will likely supplant the affirmative action policies which saw so-called positive discrimination in favour of the ethnic Malay minority for decades.

Sedia Disiasat (Ready To Be Investigated) - The former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, is ready to be investigated on any issues related prior the 14th General Election (GE14) as Harian Metro frontpaged that Khalid and the former Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali will similarly be investigated in the 1MDB scandal.

Mohamed Apandi did not respond to a request for comment.

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