Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Malaysia's Antigraft Boss Quits as Mahathir Prepares 1MDB Probe

Malaysia's Antigraft Boss Quits as Mahathir Prepares 1MDB Probe

The English dailies opened the week with news concerning the Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announcing that the new government will be hard at work as they look to instilling a transparent and bribery-free government, whilst announcing a few other measures that will be taken to materialise this goal. "Some of these things may involve the ministries and the personnel themselves, so we need people who are not involved to be getting and studying reports made either by ministries or by certain bodies which we will consult".

Mahathir said he would name the rest of his 25-member Cabinet this coming week.

Jailed Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim said in a statement he supported Mahathir's leadership but urged the premier to consider demands from his Parti Keadilan Rakyat (National Justice Party) for more "inclusive negotiation". Mahathir had crushed the opposition parties during his time in power but they found common cause in their determination to topple Najib as allegations mounted over 1MDB, and he became increasingly authoritarian.

He is the first ethnic Chinese to hold the post in 44 years in a country that has to manage tensions between the majority Malay group and minorities, and where economic advantages are given to ethnic Malays. All three appointees are party leaders in his alliance. He has also vowed to abolish the 6 per cent goods and services tax implemented in 2015 and to reintroduce fuel subsidies.

The country will invite foreign participation in large infrastructure projects "when we don't have expertise", he said. "We are all Malaysians here".

Lim pledged to form an economic policy that will restore investor confidence in Malaysia following the 1MDB scandal, while adding that he will defer to the expertise of the council of elders.

During his previous time in power Mahathir was known for being highly critical of United States policy in Asia and in particular, he won praise throughout the developing countries of the wider Muslim world for frequently shaming the United States policy of hostility towards Muslim majority countries in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Mahathir said investigations into alleged wrongdoing by the previous administration was extensive, and would take time.

Zeti, 70, became the first female Bank Negara Malaysia governor when Mahathir picked her in 2000, after she served a two-year stint as acting governor amid a controversial move to peg the ringgit to stem capital outflows.

Lim, who is secretary-general of the mostly ethnic Chinese DAP, was chief minister of Penang before the election and is a trained accountant.

Mahathir himself was criticised for clamping down on the media during his earlier term as premier.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says he's resigning as head of his Malay party to take responsibility for the electoral defeat that ended his coalition's 60-year grip on power.

In addition to naming Lim Guan Eng, a former state chief minister, as finance minister, Mahathir also named former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as home affairs minister and Mohamad Sabu as defense minister.

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