Senior leaders unite against Malaysia PM
Influential former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad and some key ruling party members demanded yesterday that embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak answer a barrage of corruption allegations.
On the same day, a whistle-blower and his lawyer detained for their efforts to expose graft allegations against Najib were charged with attempting to "sabotage" the country's banking sector.
Critics want Najib to explain massive sums allegedly missing from state-owned development company 1MDB which he launched, as well as the revelation in July that nearly $700 million in mysterious transfers had been made to his personal bank accounts.
"Unless somebody speaks up, the government will get away with doing all kinds of wrong things," Mahathir told a press conference, according to The Star newspaper.
"So they may take action against me or any one of us but somebody has to take the risk to voice our disquiet, anger and feeling that the government is not looking after the interests of this country."
Joining Mahathir, Malaysia's leader from 1981-2003, at the press conference were several heavyweights from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which has held power since 1957, including party deputy president and the country's former deputy premier, Muhyiddin Yassin.