Malaysia ex-PM Mahathir steps out of the shadows
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Four years after leading a charge to oust Malaysia's previous prime minister, authoritarian ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad is making his sizeable influence felt again as a close election looms.
Dr Mahathir, who towered over Malaysia for 22 years with his grand development projects and hard-nosed politics, is 87 but has peeled back the years to step from the shadows and whip up support for the long-ruling regime he moulded.
Through his blog and visits to key constituencies, Dr Mahathir has sounded off in typically blunt style, warning that a loss by the 56-year-old government would bring chaos.
In shades of four years ago, he told AFP that Prime Minister Najib Razak could face a ruling-party leadership putsch like his predecessor if he doesn't improve on a 2008 polls setback that shocked the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition.