Mahathir says he won't join Malaysia's opposition, cites differences

Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he will not be joining the Malaysian opposition, as he does not agree with its views.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he will not be joining the Malaysian opposition, as he does not agree with its views.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SHAH ALAM - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday (March 1) he will not be joining the opposition, as he does not agree with its views, The Star newspaper reported.

"No, I won't join the Opposition. I don't agree with them," Dr Mahathir said, adding that he may rejoin Umno once party president and Prime Minister Najib Razak has left.

On Monday (Feb 29) , Dr Mahathir announced that he was quitting Umno. He also proposed a "core group" of national leaders with a joint objective to remove Datuk Seri Najib from power.

Members of Malaysian opposition parties, including the Democratic Action Party's (DAP) Lim Kit Siang, confirmed on Tuesday that they had met Dr Mahathir and his ally Datuk Zaid Ibrahim on their efforts to oust Mr Najib.

When asked about his future plans, Tun Dr Mahathir said that he would continue to expose "the wrongdoings of the government".

Speaking at the Proton Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam, he added that suspended Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin could run in the next party elections.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who has been suspended as Umno deputy chief for criticising Mr Najib, called for the Prime Minister to step down in a statement on Saturday. Mr Muhyiddin was sacked from his post as deputy prime minister last year after he urged Mr Najib to explain to the people about scandals surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The state investor, whose advisory board was led by the Prime Minister, is under investigation for financial irregularities.

"He is still a member. If he wants to challenge… he can," Dr Mahathir said.

 
 

On The Wall Street Journal's latest report, Dr Mahathir said Mr Najib should sue the publication for false reporting if there is no truth to the allegations. "They can be sued in their own country. He can sue," he said.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that deposits into Mr Najib's bank accounts ran to hundreds of millions of dollars more than previously identified by probes into 1MDB. Citing two unnamed sources familiar with the money flows and a person familiar with an overseas investigation, the report said that more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) was deposited from 2011 to 2013, far more than the US$681 million earlier identified.

The newspaper said investigators believe much of the US$1 billion originated with the state fund, but did not specify where the extra money came from or what happened to it.