Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Mahathir to stay up to two years as Malaysia PM

Mahathir to stay up to two years as Malaysia PM

As the 92-year-old Mahathir and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim were able to set aside their old grudges against each other and jointly campaign for the Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), it has proved a huge draw for Malaysian voters. "The prime minister has given his assurance that the meeting of the pardons board will proceed as scheduled now at 11 am (0300 GMT) on Wednesday".

Analysts say tensions in the new government are possible due to the dominance of the two leaders - Mahathir is the chairman of the alliance and Anwar is its de facto leader. The police action followed a complaint lodged by two leaders of the youth wing of Mahathir's political party, Bersatu.The police report of the complaint, reviewed by Reuters, alleges that vans emblazoned with the logo of the department of the prime minister and cabinet delivered boxes for 50 Birkin handbags to Pavilion Residences on Thursday evening.The report alleged that the boxes showed the name of the consignee as Rosmah Mansor.

Mahathir has named just three ministers so far in addition to himself and Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as deputy prime minister.

Mahathir and Anwar (a jailed reformist) won the general election last week.

The volatile relationship between the duo has dominated the country's political landscape for over three decades.

Before he can become prime minister, Anwar must first contest a by-election to become a member of parliament.

Also, Mahathir is widely remembered and appreciated by many Malaysians for his success in guiding the country through hard times during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 with his impressive leadership and unwavering resolve.

In an astonishing U-turn previous year, Anwar shook hands with Mahathir and agreed to join forces to oust scandal-tainted Najib.

Mahathir to stay up to two years as Malaysia PM

Anwar was freed in 2004 but in 2015, he was jailed again - for five years - for sodomizing a former aide, a charge he and his supporters describe as a politically motivated attempt by Najib to end his career.

Mahathir said that whether Najib would serve time in prison would depend on the results of an investigation.

This communalist politics became more and more prone to corruption, cronyism and a crackdown on freedoms under Mahathir's successor, Najib.

"If there is no case, we don't go for detention without trial", he said. At least six countries, including the United States and Switzerland, are investigating allegations that $4.5 billion was siphoned off from 1MDB.

A deluxe Kuala Lumpur apartment block raided by the police, relatives of ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak had been staying there.

News broke in 2015 that about $700 million allegedly stolen from 1MDB had made its way into Najib's personal bank accounts.

Najib denies any wrongdoing in connection with losses at the fund.

After he was sworn in last week as Malaysia's seventh prime minister, Mahathir said the king indicated he would give Anwar a full pardon that will allow him to immediately run for office.

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