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Mahathir to stay up to two years as Malaysia leader, no deal for Najib

AFP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

- Malaysia's 92-year-old new leader said he expects to stay as for up to two years and vowed not to cut any deals to keep his predecessor out of jail for alleged corruption.

Mahathir told he would be in power for one to two years -- before an expected handover to former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is expected to be released on Wednesday after three years in jail on a sodomy conviction.

Mahathir -- who ruled from 1981-2003 -- came out of retirement to oust scandal-tainted former in an astonishing election turnaround last week.

Mahathir was asked in an interview by video link whether a deal could be cut with Najib, who is alleged to have overseen the looting of government investment fund

"No deal," Mahathir said in the interview, conducted for a business forum organised by the newspaper in

Billions of dollars are believed to have been siphoned off from the fund, with most reportedly disappearing overseas, while $681 million also mysteriously appeared in Najib's in 2013.

"We are now in process of getting into details of matters he suppressed in his time," Mahathir said of Najib.

Without a deal to help recover the funds, Najib faces the likelihood of prosecution and possible criminal charges.

Mahathir has ordered him barred from leaving the country.

Anwar, whose sodomy conviction is believed by supporters to have been concocted by Najib to derail the opposition, is expected to be pardoned by the country's on Wednesday and released.

Mahathir has previously said he expects to stay in charge for a period of time, partly to ensure a smooth transition, but has already signalled he would eventually yield to Anwar.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 15:30 IST
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