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Najib wants to be Malaysian PM again, says Dr Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR — Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak will make a comeback if he is found not guilty next week on corruption and money-laundering charges related to SRC International, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib wants to be Malaysian PM again, says Dr Mahathir

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his supporters arrive at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 1, 2020.

KUALA LUMPUR — Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak will make a comeback if he is found not guilty next week on corruption and money-laundering charges related to SRC International, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“If he is found not guilty, I think that he will want to be prime minister again,” Dr Mahathir told The Malaysian Insight.

“If he loses in court, then of course he will be disqualified,” said the 95-year-old at his office at Yayasan Al-Bukhrary.

The former two-time prime minister was responding to a question on whether Perikatan Nasional will nominate Mr Muhyiddin Yassin as their candidate for prime minister in the next elections.

There is also talk of snap elections this year as Mr Muhyiddin attempts to get his own mandate.

“Generally speaking, Umno members feel that Umno should lead as they have the support. In fact, they have told Bersatu that although they are in a coalition now, they want to contest against Bersatu in the next elections.

“Umno believes it will be the biggest party in the coalition and they want to hold the reins of power,” said the former Umno president.

Barisan Nasional is currently the biggest bloc in PN with 42 MPs, followed by Bersatu (31), PAS (18) and GPS (18).

Out of Bersatu’s 31, 15 are former Umno MPs and 10 former PKR lawmakers. Bersatu only has six MPs left from the group that won in 2018, after sacking another pro-Dr Mahathir supporter — Mr Shahruddin Salleh of Sri Gading.

High court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali has fixed July 28 give the verdict on the SRC International Sdn Bhd case against Najib.

Najib is charged with abusing his position as prime minster to provide government guarantees for RM4 billion (S$1.3 billion) to SRC International from the Retirement Fund Incorporated in 2011 and 2012.

He is also charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and three counts of money laundering involving RM42 million.

The defence argues that the former prime minister was ignorant of the transactions involving sums transferred from SRC International to his bank accounts and how the funds were used later.

Najib is also charged separately with four counts of abuse of power to enrich himself with RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and 21 counts of laundering the same amount.

He was also charged with abuse of power charge in the 1MDB audit report-tampering trial.

Dr Mahathir said Mr Muhyiddin’s position as prime minister is insecure after it was shown in Parliament last week that PN only has 113 out of 222 MPs supporting it.

“As such, he is trying to stay in power by using methods which are not very democratic. This includes applying pressure on his own party to support him and even using money to induce people to support him.

“But we feel we should go back to the original decision of the people, that is to say Pakatan Harapan is the choice of the people.

“So we feel that having been supported by the people we should retain that support by getting back the position of government,” said Dr Mahathir.

COALITION OF CONVENIENCE

The former Bersatu chairman said PN is not a proper coalition.

“In the first place there was no coalition. There was talk, led by Muhyiddin that there is Perikatan.

“But it has never been registered. It has no office. It’s something only in the minds of some people. Muhyiddin’s gives the impression there is a coalition.

“I told him that if he joined them, he would be working with kleptocrats from Umno, I’m not prepared to do that.

“And I cannot accept Umno en bloc but Muhyiddin said he was prepared to work with Najib. And that’s how he became their leader and eventually prime minister.”

Dr Mahathir, who is also Langkawi MP, said the plan was to bring down PH all along and substitute it with a government made up of kleptocrats.

“To do that, they have to get more Malay support which could only come from Bersatu, so they had to persuade Bersatu to change course, by saying that DAP will destroy the Malays.

“Malays believed it and became frightened. So, some Bersatu members decided to leave Pakatan because of DAP. I didn’t agree with this.

“I said ‘let’s wait first, don’t make any decisions now’ but they rejected me. They decided we have to come out now.

“After that Muhyiddin was accepted by Umno and PAS to make up the numbers to form the government. I will never work with this group because of the presence of Najib.”  THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Related topics

Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin Mahathir Mohamad Najib Razak Malaysia politics

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