Monday, 24 September, 2018

Dr Mahathir to remain in power one to two years

Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 Probe panellists: AG ignored evidence that Najib received 1MDB funds
Deanna Wagner | 16 May, 2018, 10:21

"(In) an initial stage, maybe lasting one or two years, I will be the prime minister", Mahathir said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Tokyo via a video link from Malaysia on Tuesday.

The Pakatan Harapan alliance pledged to set up a sovereign wealth fund using profits from state-owned oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd to provide future welfare for the people and stability to the country.

The declassified report found, among others things, that 1MDB used 288 million ringgit ($73 million) of government funds to pay interest on its debt, which went against the monies' original objective.

That may go some way toward plugging the hole in the revenue left by the GST. Mahathir said he can't suspend Apandi until he is investigated.

The former prime minister has been blacklisted from leaving the country and on Monday Mahathir announced he would replace the attorney-general who cleared Najib in the 1MDB scandal in 2016 after a royal Saudi family member said the money was a personal donation to Najib.

But his party said that the prime minister's office had informed them an official committee that issues pardons - and would sign off on his release - would now be meeting on Wednesday, without explaining why.

Low, a friend of Najib's stepson Riza Aziz, had no official role at 1MDB but USA investigators say he had considerable influence over its dealings and was often in contact with Najib. He announced that he would appoint a new anti-corruption commission chief.

He added that once an investigation had been carried out, Apandi could be suspended and banned from leaving the country.

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

ND, 5 other states suing opioid maker
District Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing the consolidated litigation, has been pushing for a global settlement. The suit also claims Purdue violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and its 2007 settlement with Tennessee.

The US State Department alleges that at least US$4.5 billion (RM17.81 billion) were looted from the fund, and funnelled to the United States where it was used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate and a luxury yacht. "It will take time but we want to act as soon as possible".

Meanwhile, Abdul Razak Idris, MACC's former director of intelligence and investigation, lodged a report with the anti-corruption agency against Najib, accusing the former PM of abuse of power by preventing 1MDB investigations.

Both Najib and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.

Malaysia's new prime minister Mahathir Mohamad doesn't intend to immediately step aside once his foe-turned-colleague Anwar Ibrahim is pardoned. "The fake news law will be given a new definition so that the public and media outlets will know what is fake news and what is not fake".

"Even though we support freedom of press and freedom of speech, there are limits", he said in a live television broadcast.

Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the report that his government would follow due process and Najib would be treated fairly.

Meanwhile, in another move made by the new government on Monday, officials lifted a travel ban imposed on political cartoonist and BenarNews contributor Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwarul Haque.

Zunar had created widely publicized illustrations criticizing Najib and his wife, Rosmah. Singapore has ordered punished banks over lapses related to 1MDB, seized assets and jailed bankers over the scandal.