Malaysia's for­mer premier sues Na­jib over mis­use of power

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

For­mer Malaysian premier Ma­hathir Mo­hamad es­ca­lated his feud with Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak, fil­ing a law­suit al­leg­ing mis­use of power.

Na­jib "ac­tively and de­lib­er­ately" sought to de­rail in­ves­ti­ga­tions by lo­cal agen­cies into trou­bled state in­vest­ment com­pany 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Bhd., plus hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars that ended up in his pri­vate ac­counts in 2013, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by Ma­hathir's lawyers. Ma­hathir and two for­mer of­fi­cials of the rul­ing United Malays Na­tional Or­gan­i­sa­tion are su­ing Na­jib in the Kuala Lumpur High Court. They are seek­ing dam­ages of at least 2.6 bil­lion ring­git ($651 mil­lion) plus in­ter­est to be paid to the govern­ment.

The plain­tiffs are seek­ing to "re­verse the de­struc­tion of the rule of law and the sanc­tity of the pro­vi­sion of our Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion, which Na­jib Razak has com­pletely de­stroyed to al­most be­yond re­pair," ac­cord­ing to law firm Han­iff Kha­tri, which is rep­re­sent­ing the trio.

Ma­hathir, who was Malaysia's long­est serv­ing leader when he stepped down in 2003, has waged a pub­lic cam­paign to get Na­jib out of of­fice, warn­ing the coali­tion led by the premier's party risks be­ing voted out at the next elec­tion which must be held by 2018. He led op­po­si­tion and civil so­ci­ety groups this month in call­ing for the re­moval of Na­jib through non-vi­o­lent means, a move the govern­ment said showed the depth of "political op­por­tunism and des­per­a­tion."

"Ma­hathir has run out of op­tions" af­ter fail­ing to oust the prime min­is­ter through UMNO and par­lia­ment, Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Salleh Said Keruak said in a state­ment. "He is clutch­ing at straws."

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