Ex-Malaysia PM Mahathir prepares for arrest

Malaysia's former PM expects arrest as he publicly criticized current government

Ex-Malaysia PM Mahathir prepares for arrest

World Bulletin / News Desk

Malaysia's longest serving prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has returned from an overseas trip to face police arrest for remarks he made during a huge anti-government rally last month.

During a speech at the Bersih street protest - attended by 200,000 Malaysians demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak - Mohamad referred to Razak as a corrupt leader, said the people did not want him, and claimed the ruling party's top leaders were all paid to be loyal to him.

Several United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) divisional leaders subsequently filed police reports against the former premier over the bribery allegation.

On arriving from the Czech Republic Wednesday, Mohamad said it is the prerogative of the police to arrest him, and underlined that he will cooperate if called in for questioning over his participation and speech at the mass rally, which had been declared illegal by city authorities.

"It is their [authorities] right. Tangkaplah [arrest me]... I read in newspapers [on the latest developments]," he told reporters upon arriving at Subang Airport.

"Of course I will go. If police call you for an investigation you must go. That is the way of life here in Malaysia." 

Mohamad – who was premier for 23 years - then defended his rally statements.

Days after the 34-hour rally, Malaysian Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar announced that authorities are probing Mohamad for allegedly defaming Umno, Razak and the government during the event.

Bakar said the investigation falls under section 500 of the Penal Code which outlines the penalty for defamation and carries a maximum two-year jail, a fine, or both.

Mohamad has been leading calls for Najib's resignation over alleged mismanagement and corruption at the country's indebted state investment fund 1MDB.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Eylül 2015, 13:07