Najib has stolen government, people's future grim: Mahathir

Malaysian former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Malaysian former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's former premier Mahathir Mohamad slammed Prime Minister Najib Razak again in his popular blog yesterday, saying that 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 Dr Mahathir made references to the scandal involving state investment firm 1MDB, the recent Cabinet reshuffle and the replacing of the Attorney-General. He also said Datuk Seri Najib, who is chief adviser to 1MDB, had moved to "literally disband" Parliament's Public Accounts Committee - which was looking into alleged mismanagement at 1MDB - 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 post.

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

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

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

Dr Mahathir 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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2015, with the headline 'Najib has stolen government, people's future grim: Mahathir'. Print Edition | Subscribe