17 May, 2008

Mahathir challenges government to charge him

Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday challenged the government to charge him for his alleged involvement in a judge-fixing scandal during his rule.

"I welcome it," the 82-year-old influential leader said at a meeting in Johor.

"I want them to charge me in court. Only then will I have the opportunity to expose more conflicts faced by the judges, including those who have implicated me," he told reporters.

"We are of the view that there was, conceivably, an insidious movement by (V.K. Lingam) with the covert assistance of his close friends," it said, citing business tycoon Vincent Tan -- Mahathir's close associate -- and secretary general of the ruling United Malays National Organisation, Tengku Adnan.

"In the process, Tun Mahathir Mohamad was also entangled," the report said.

Meanwhile, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued his attacks on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, telling him to be a Malay gentleman by stepping down from his post following the March 8 political tsunami.

He was ready to offer 100 tips on how Umno and the people could get Abdullah to quit.

To a question "What would you do if you were allowed to become PM again for 100 days?"

Dr M: The first thing I will do is get rid of Pak Lah. When I chose him over Najib, they told me he is Mr Nice and Mr Clean and all that. Only now we know what kind of a person he really is. So, the first thing I will do is fire him. Once I have done that, the rest is easy. No need to elaborate.

While Dr M continued his attacks on Pak Lah, Anwar, who was ousted from government in 1998 by then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in a power struggle amid accusations of corruption and sodomy said he would have enough support to topple Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government by September.

"By our calculation, we should move before Sept. 16," he said during his visit to Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, for a lecture series on "Human Rights Awareness."

Although Anwar has made such claims several times in the past, Friday was the first time he has given a specific timeframe to try to pull down the government.

Read also :

Malaysiakini "Dr M challenges gov't to charge him"

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