1MDB saga: Key players - Mahathir Mohamad

Not a conspiracy, but an open call for Najib to step down

Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his call for Mr Najib Razak to step down "is known to everyone".
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his call for Mr Najib Razak to step down "is known to everyone".PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR • Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has dismissed talk of a conspiracy in his bid to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak, saying there is no covert effort under way.

Writing in his Chedet.cc blog yesterday, he said his call for Datuk Seri Najib to step down "is known to everyone".

"I had openly called for his stepping down. No conspiracy. Just open declaration to the whole nation that I would like to see Najib cease to be Prime Minister... There is no need to conspire. There is open campaigning for his ceasing to be Prime Minister," Tun Dr Mahathir said.

Because of this, he said there would be no need for detectives or special agents for any investigation.

The outspoken former premier also referred to allegations levelled at the government investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He commented about how there has been no denial issued by Mr Najib so far that the funds had been deposited in his private banking accounts.

Dr Mahathir also repeated his allegation that government money was used to help the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, win in the 2013 general election, through 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), a cash aid programme that was introduced by Mr Najib in 2012.

"But what about BR1M? Isn't it government money, all seven billion ringgit and more. That was clever. It is not for elections but given before any election, with the promise of more if the party wins, isn't it about using government money to win elections?" he wrote.

Dr Mahathir also claimed that Mr Najib had amended Umno's election rules to make it easier to stay in power.

"Effectively this means the real electors have been reduced from 2,000 to about 190 Umno divisions. The number of members voting for a candidate is nullified. Far from making Umno elections more democratic, Najib has actually restricted the right to vote from ordinary members to just the divisions. And Najib has a stranglehold over most of the division heads," he said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2015, with the headline 'Not a conspiracy, but an open call for Najib to step down'. Print Edition | Subscribe