Malaysia's opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang discussed anti-Najib efforts with Mahathir

Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang at the party's branch office.
Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang at the party's branch office. PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang confirmed on Tuesday (March 1) that he had met Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his ally Datuk Zaid Ibrahim on their efforts to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The Democratic Action Party's (DAP) parliamentary chief told a Selangor leadership meeting that he had discussed "the current national situation" with Dr Mahathir, who left Umno on Monday in protest at Datuk Seri Najib's leadership.

"DAP will support all efforts to 'Save Malaysia' as distinct from campaigns to 'Save Najib' or 'Save Umno'," he said.

Last year, Mr Lim called for a grand coalition between opposition leaders and those against Mr Najib from Barisan Nasional (BN), calling it a campaign - a slogan that has recently been adopted by Dr Mahathir.

The former Malaysian prime minister - who remains influential despite his 2003 resignation that ended 22 years in power - had on Monday proposed a "core group" of national leaders with a joint objective to remove Mr Najib from power.

Mr Najib has denied allegations of graft worth almost US$700 million (S$983.4 million) and financial mismanagement of RM42 billion (S$14.1 billion) in loans raised by state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Mr Najib has so far fended off all threats, including sacking deputy Umno president Muhyiddin Yassin from his deputy prime minister post last year.

The Straits Times understands that aside from Mr Lim, Dr Mahathir has also met other opposition leaders such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Deputy President Azmin Ali, Parti Islam seMalaysia (PAS) President Abdul Hadi Awang.

Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has called on Malaysians to rally behind Dr Mahathir, and is planning a March 27 meeting of prominent individuals to work towards the common goal of ending the Najib administration.

shannont@sph.com.sg