Malaysia’s ex-PM Mahathir faces anticorruption probe

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief says former leader ‘among those being investigated’.

Mahathir
Mahathir Mohamad led Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and again from 2018 to 2020 [Vincent Thian/AP Photo]

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is being investigated in connection with a corruption probe involving his sons, the country’s anticorruption agency has confirmed.

Azam Baki, chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said on Thursday that Mahathir was “among those being investigated”.

“Let the investigations conclude first, until an appropriate time when we can state the findings of the case,” Azam told reporters in the northeastern state of Kelantan.

A spokesperson for Mahathir, who led the Southeast Asian country from 1981 to 2003 and again from 2018 to 2020, declined to comment.

In January, the MACC ordered Mahathir’s two eldest sons, Mirzan Mahathir and Mokhzani Mahathir, to declare their assets as part of inquiries prompted by the Pandora and Panama Papers leaks.

Mahathir, 98, is known as a vocal critic of sitting Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who was elected in 2022 on a platform to root out corruption among the upper echelons of power.

Anwar, who served as Mahathir’s deputy during the 1990s before being jailed, has denied accusations of using his anticorruption drive as a pretext to target political rivals and insisted he does not intervene in legal cases.

In February, the MACC charged former finance minister and Mahathir ally Daim Zainuddin and his wife for failing to disclose assets.

Mokhzani Mahathir, Mahathir’s second-eldest son, told Bloomberg News in an interview last month that his father was the “primary suspect” in the investigation.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies