20 October 2015
Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad is under investigation for potential defamation as the country’s longest-serving leader continues to pressure Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down.
Police opened several investigation papers after reports were made against Mahathir, Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi said in a written reply to a parliamentary question. He said the probes relate to Section 500 of the penal code on defamation, and there was no immediate information on who filed the reports.
“They are trying to send a stern warning to Mahathir but it’s unlikely the investigations will amount to much,” said Oh Ei Sun, an analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and Najib’s political secretary from 2009 to 2011. “His arrest, if any, would invite a lot of attention both domestically and internationally, and it’s not a good political move as he still commands a high level of respect.”
Opposition Democratic Action Party lawmaker Tan Kok Wai had asked what actions authorities were taking against Mahathir for his criticisms of Najib. One case will be referred to the deputy public prosecutor for review after the investigation is completed, and another has been referred to the attorney general, Zahid said.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 13/11/2015