Malaysia’s prime minister resigns, slams media for ‘fake news’

Malaysia’s new prime minister said he will step down after a weekend cabinet reshuffle, slamming the media and a new scandal over his handling of the nation’s troubled economy.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he had called in his successor Datuk Mahathor bin Mohamdi to take over from the prime minister who was suspended following the arrest of his chief of staff and a former top civil servant.

He said the resignation was triggered by a series of scandals and allegations that the government was engaged in corruption.

Dr Mahathar said the corruption scandal was being investigated by the police, which was also investigating his cabinet, which he described as corrupt.

“I have also called in the prime ministers of the other two countries,” he told a news conference.

“The prime minister of Malaysia is the most corrupt man in the world.

I will have to find another prime minister.

We will not tolerate that.”

Prime Minister Mahathrata says he is resigning amid a corruption scandal and other scandals and that his cabinet is corrupt.

He was in the middle of a campaign rally on Sunday night when a photo was taken of him smiling as he walked into a cafe.

“There is a large amount of corruption in the cabinet,” he said.

“There is no doubt that there is corruption.

I cannot give you an answer as to why I resigned.”

Malaysia’s prime ministership is being challenged by a number of rivals, including Dr Mahatid, who is running for a fourth term.

Dr Mohamid, a former opposition leader who has served as prime minister since 2004, has promised to overhaul the country’s dysfunctional government to improve the economy and tackle corruption.

He had been suspended last month after he fired his chief, Datuk Najib Razak, and dismissed his chief economic adviser, Datang Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

The prime ministers’ meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday had been expected to be the last of Dr Mahattid’s term in office.

But the Malaysian Press Council on Sunday said it had been informed that the prime ministerial meeting was cancelled, and Dr Mahad would resign as prime minster in place of his predecessor.

The council’s secretary-general, Nasser Saliuddin, said Dr Mahas had decided to resign, which would take effect from Monday.

“This is a sad day for Malaysia.

The prime minister resigned and the prime minsters cabinet will be filled with new faces,” he wrote on Facebook.

Malaysian President Joko Widodo said in a statement that Dr Mahtad would be succeeded by “a new generation of leaders”.

“I congratulate Dr Maharat on his successful election and wish him well in his new role,” the statement said.

“Malaysians are ready to build on his achievements and he will be supported by the entire country in this new chapter in the nation,” he added.

Dr Najib has been criticised for his handling and has also been investigated by a wide-ranging police probe into allegations of bribery and money laundering.

Dr Abdul Aziz was appointed prime minister in September 2016.

He has been accused of ordering the murder of a businessman in a Malaysian airport in April 2018, and has been under investigation since for alleged misuse of public funds.

He denies wrongdoing and has dismissed the allegations.