Former Malaysian PM Mahathir says PM Najib has 'stolen the govt', people face grim future

Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, attends an interview in KL. Tun Mahathir has again slammed current PM Najib Razak in his online blog on Aug 17.
Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, attends an interview in KL. Tun Mahathir has again slammed current PM Najib Razak in his online blog on Aug 17. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's former premier Mahathir Mohamed slammed Prime Minister Najib Razak again in his popular blog on Monday, saying he had "stolen the government" and the people faced a grim future.

He said: "Najib may be able to buy his way through in the next election but he will not be able to acquire funds to sustain his purchase of popularity."

Tun Mahathir was referring to the scandal involving state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the recent Cabinet reshuffle and the replacing of the Attorney-General.

He also said Datuk Seri Najib, who was an adviser to 1MDB, had moved to "literally disband" Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) - which was looking into alleged mismanagement at the state investment firm - by appointing four of its members to the cabinet in the recent reshuffle.

Dr Mahathir said that public opinion wanted Mr Najib to leave office, and consequently there has been talk of moving a motion of no confidence against him in Parliament.

But this, he said, was "very difficult".

The economy, he said, is reacting to this stalemate.

"The government he leads will not be able to borrow. The country's economy will collapse," he said in his posting.

He also claimed the stock market had "all but collapsed" and the ringgit, which has fallen to record lows against the United States dollar, would continue to slip further.

"Investors, especially foreign investors are taking out their money to safer places abroad," he said.

The former premier described what was happening in Malaysia as "unprecedented".

He said: "The rule of law has been turned upside down and the people seem powerless to do anything to put it upright again."

"This is because the very leader entrusted with upholding the law has become the subject of the due process of the law.

"It is alleged that he has broken the law," he added.