Najib: I had to choose between my country or being bossed by Dr M

Modified 5 Aug 2016, 1:00 pm

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today took to Indonesian media to explain his fallout with former premier and mentor Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking to MetroTV in an interview, Najib related that Mahathir was "obsessed about control" and was trying to call the shots even though he was no longer the prime minister.

"I only had two choices as prime minister. First, that I become a prime minister who refers to him and get his 'advice'.

"I say advice but it's probably instructions to do what he wants in terms of the administration of the country.

"Or, I become a prime minister who believes in my own leadership, judgement and the mandate given to me by the country and my party, and do what I think is best for the country.

Asked by the interviewer which choice did he make, Najib said it is the latter.

"I need to be a prime minister who is responsible to the rakyat (and) do what I think is best for the country.

"But I know the effect of this is that Mahathir will not be happy with me because history has shown that he has dismissed and got rid of many prime ministers before this," he said.

This was Najib's first international interview after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed more than US$3.5 billion was siphoned from Malaysian state-fund 1MDB and was confiscating US$1 billion in assets acquired through the stolen money.

Najib was asked about the DOJ action in the interview but claimed it did not involve him.

He also claimed the 1MDB scandal is merely a "business" issue and the opposition was politicising it to unseat him.

Share this story


By posting a comment, you agree to our Terms & Conditions as stipulated in full here


Foul language, profanity, vulgarity, slanderous, personal attack, threatening, sexually-orientated comments or the use of any method of communication that may violate any law or create needless unpleasantness will not be tolerated. Antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be suspended. Violators run the risk of also being blocked permanently.


Please use the report feature that is available below each comment to flag offending comments for our moderators to take action. Do not take matters in your own hands to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary exchanges that may result in your own suspension or ban.