ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com May 23, 2018


Malaysian PM says he'll stay in office for 1-2 years

16 May 2018, 10:42 | Erica Roy

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir might stay up to two years in post

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"I am disappointed because I had hoped he could be prime minister as soon as possible", said Talib Ibrahim, an Anwar supporter outside the hospital.

Smiling and waving to supporters on Wednesday, Mr Anwar, 70, was surrounded by his family, lawyers and prison guards before getting into a vehicle and driving to the palace for an audience with the king. Anwar then started a movement known as Reformasi - reform to end the then ruling party's race-and patronage-based governance.

Former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim - the man who will likely replace prime minister-elect Mahathir Mohamad - has been released from prison.

A four-party alliance driven by Mahathir and Anwar won the general election last week, ousting the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition for the first time in the history of the Southeast Asian nation.

His daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar has said the pardon was sought on the grounds of miscarriage of justice.

Smiling and looking spry in a tailored black suit, Anwar emerged from a Kuala Lumpur hospital where he had undergone surgery for a shoulder problem, giving a thumbs-up to a crowd of journalists before leaving in a convoy of cars without making any public comment. However, he was stopped in his tracks by charges of sodomy and graft, which he denied, but for which he was jailed.

Images at the time of a goateed, bespectacled Anwar in court with a black eye and bruises brought condemnation of Mahathir from around the world.

A person described in the United States lawsuits as "Malaysian Official 1" was said to have received more than US$1 billion in 1MDB funds, some of which was used to buy jewellery for the person's wife.

Their newfound alliance is a stunning turnaround from the 1990s when - on the orders of Dr Mahathir and his government - Mr Anwar was arrested and jailed on charges of corruption and sodomy.


While there were no massive surprises in the summary of the Auditor General's report, and it did not mention former premier Najib Razak by name, the audit said 1MDB officers took investment actions against or without full knowledge of the board of directors on several occasions, while giving inaccurate or conflicting information to stakeholders. Mahathir said he can't suspend Apandi until he is investigated.

The 92-year-old prime minister in the report said Anwar could be given a seat in the cabinet once he was re-elected to parliament.

Mahathir has said he expects to run the government for up to two years during an uncertain transition period but has signalled the reins would be turned over to Anwar eventually.

Asked if Najib would go to prison, he said: "It all depends on the investigation being made and whether there is a case against him or not".

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is seen on video conference screen during the Wall Street Journal CEO Conference in Tokyo, Japan May 15, 2018.

In 2008, once his ban on political participation was lifted, he was hit with further sodomy charges.

Asked about other possible crimes, Mahathir said: "We can not do everything at the same time at one go".

Mahathir and Anwar are a political odd couple who have "hated each other politically" for two decades, James Chin, Director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, told CNN ahead of the election last week. "But Mahathir may be reluctant to hand over to his former nemesis, and if he drags his feet other scenarios could come into play", said Peter Mumford of the Eurasia Group in a research note.



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