Mahathir tells WSJ he expects charges to be filed against Najib

Cheryl Sanders
May 15, 2018

Malaysia's 92-year-old new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says he may step down after only "one or two years" in office. Mahathir himself was investigated under the law before he led his four-party alliance to a stunning victory in Wednesday's election, ousting the long-ruling coalition. He said he needed time to fix the country's financial problems and that he expects to continue to play a role even after he steps down.

The Prime Minister said that he looked forward to working with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to further strengthen the India-Malaysia strategic partnership. "There will be no special powers given, except as are given to ministers or deputy ministers or deputy prime ministers", Mahathir said.

Reuters could not verify the report.

The volatile relationship between Anwar and Mahathir, from friends to foes to allies, has dominated Malaysia's political landscape for more than three decades and is central to the future of the alliance.

Mahathir and Anwar (a jailed reformist) won the general election last week.

Anwar was freed in 2004 but in 2015, he was jailed again - for five years - for sodomizing a former aide, a charge he and his supporters describe as a politically motivated attempt by Najib to end his career. Mahathir sacked and jailed Anwar on charges of sodomy and corruption. Both police officers said investigators were not primarily interested in the luxury items but were chasing documents that could be vital for investigations into Najib's administration.Kuala Lumpur's police chief and an official police spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.Najib said earlier on Saturday that he was going overseas for a week to rest, but just minutes later the Department of Immigration announced that he and his wife had been barred from leaving the country.

"No deal", Mahathir said in the interview, conducted for a business forum organised by the newspaper in Tokyo.

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

"We are now in process of getting into details of matters he suppressed in his time", Mahathir said of Najib.

Mahathir blocked Najib from leaving the country last weekend.

He announced that he would appoint a new anti-corruption commission chief and replace the attorney-general who had cleared Najib of wrongdoing in a multi-billion-dollar scandal linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.

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.

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