Mahathir to continue as Malaysia PM for 1-2 years

Mahathir to continue as Malaysia PM for 1-2 years

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was last week sworn in again, this time as the seventh prime minister, in a deal he took to voters where he would seek to release jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim via a royal pardon from the King, stepping aside after an expected two years to enable Anwar to take over.

"China congratulates him on assuming the post of prime minister".

With Thursday's win, Mahathir, 92, became the world's oldest elected leader.

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

A four-party alliance driven by Mahathir and Anwar won the general election last week, ousting the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition for the first time in the history of the Southeast Asian nation.

The volatile relationship between Anwar and Mahathir, from friends to foes to allies, has dominated Malaysia's political landscape for more than three decades and is central to the future of the alliance.

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

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But in 1998, they disagreed on how to tackle the Asian financial crisis and fell out. He and his supporters say the charge was politically motivated. Mahathir, who built much of his campaign by accusing Najib of corruption, vowed to control corruption and cronyism after the election. He jailed his former deputy on charges of sodomy and corruption.

In a U-turn a year ago, Anwar shook hands with Mahathir and agreed to join forces to oust scandal-tainted Najib. Security personnel from the building - which is owned by Desmond Lim, a wealthy Malaysian businessman and supporter of Najib - were cooperative."We are looking for government documents that may have been illegally taken", said a senior police officer, who requested anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Asked if Najib would go to prison, he said: "It all depends on the investigation being made and whether there is a case against him or not". At his trial in the late 1990s, prosecutors repeatedly brought what they said was a semen-stained mattress into court.

The scandal is being investigated in at least six countries, including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. The new coalition is led by Mahathir Mohamad - Anwar's one-time ally, then his bitter enemy and, most recently, his political savior.

In December 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions described the corruption allegations as "kleptocracy at its worst" and the U.S. Department of Justice said about $700 million had been siphoned off from 1MDB and had gone to Najib's bank accounts.

Najib set up 1MDB in 2009 and previously served as chairman of its advisory board.

It is because under the agreement reached among the various factions within the Pakatan Harapan prior to the election, Mahathir will have to pardon Anwar, who is still in jail, and restore his political rights as soon as possible in order to allow him to assume office as the next prime minister. He has denied wrongdoing.

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