PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad plans to remain in power for one or two years after his historic election win last week, reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
In his interview with the WSJ at his office at Perdana Leadership Foundation here Tuesday, Dr Mahathir also said that he expected criminal charges would be filed against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak following an investigation into allegations that he siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars from a state investment fund.
In the WSJ report published online Tuesday, Dr Mahathir reportedly said he would not offer Najib freedom in an effort to reclaim the missing funds.
“No deal,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the article based on a live video feed from Malaysia to The Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Tokyo, Japan.
Dr Mahathir said in the WSJ report that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would be freed Wednesday after receiving a royal pardon from the country’s king.
According to the WSJ report, during the election campaign, Dr Mahathir vowed to free Anwar and pass the premiership to him, but said he would stay in the prime minister’s post for two or three years to steer Malaysia in the right direction.
In the WSJ report, Dr Mahathir said Anwar would be one of four party leaders in the ruling coalition and wouldn’t be given any “special powers.”
The 92-year-old prime minister in the report said Anwar could be given a seat in the cabinet once he was re-elected to parliament.
Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the report that his government would follow due process and Najib would be treated fairly.
“It all depends on the investigations being made and whether there is a case against him or not. If there is no case against him, we don’t go for detention without trial,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the report. – BERNAMA