Dr Mahathir says it is now 'illegal' to talk about 1MDB

When asked if the new Cabinet would restore the confidence of the people, Dr Mahathir said he had not seen this yet, based on social media posts.
When asked if the new Cabinet would restore the confidence of the people, Dr Mahathir said he had not seen this yet, based on social media posts. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad is refusing to comment about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as it is now "illegal" to talk about it.

He said he had seen the leaked video where former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recounted a conversation with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Muhyiddin was seen telling some guests at his residence, including Dr Mahathir's son Mukhriz, that Najib had admitted that US$700 million (S$962 million) in 1MDB funds was deposited into his account.

Dr Mahathir said: "I am not supposed to talk about that because that is now illegal. I didn't say anything, ya. I say nothing about 1MDB."

He was speaking to reporters at the launch of the Prince Court Medical Centre Liver Centre on Friday.

Asked about the Cabinet reshuffle, Dr Mahathir said "we reshuffle the Cabinet all the time. That is the right of the PM."

He added that Najib must think that it was a better line-up.

When asked if the new Cabinet would restore the confidence of the people, Dr Mahathir said he had not seen this yet, based on social media posts.

On the removal of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney General (AG), he said that the new AG could investigate the 1MDB issue, just as the Public Accounts Committee will be able to resume its probe of the state investor once a new chairman is appointed.

When asked for his views on the appointment of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir noted that the latter received the highest votes for the position of vice-president during the Umno polls.

In a separate development, the new deputy prime minister said there was no warrant of arrest for his predecessor Muhyiddin over the leaked video. He warned irresponsible parties against spreading such rumours.

"I have received a lot of calls from concerned people asking whether it is true that the former deputy prime minister was to be arrested. I assured them he is not,'' he said.

"This rumour is totally nonsense. I had called the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police to verify the allegation, and they answered in the negative.