Malaysian police question former strongman Mahathir over remarks


Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – Malaysian police questioned former premier Mahathir Mohamad Friday over alleged criticisms of the government and Prime Minister Najib Razak during an anti-government rally in August.

Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, one of Mahathir’s lawyers, said three police officers interviewed the 90-year-old former Malaysian leader for 45 minutes at his office in central Kuala Lumpur.

Mahathir told reporters he did not answer the questions, adding that it was up to the police if they want to arrest him.

Mohamed Haniff said they are not at liberty to talk about what was discussed during the interrogation.

He said Mahathir was assisted by seven lawyers and answered all the questions directed at him.

Police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said Mahathir is being investigated on suspicion of making seditious remarks during the rally in August attended by tens of thousands of protesters calling for the resignation of Najib over corruption allegations.

Mahathir has been very vocal in calling for Najib’s resignation following a July report in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that 673 million dollars in his accounts had been misappropriated from the state development fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib denied the allegations, and the country’s anti-corruption agency said the money in the premier’s bank accounts did not come from 1MDB but from foreign donors in the Middle East.