- Title: Malaysia's Mahathir challenges former protege, PM Najib, to debate
- Date: 18th July 2017
- Summary: PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA (JULY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** CHAIRMAN OF THE OPPOSITION ALLIANCE AND FORMER MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD (C) SITTING DURING NEWS CONFERENCE REPORTER TAKING PHOTOS WITH SMARTPHONE REPORTERS LISTENING TO NEWS CONFERENCE HANDS TYPING (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF THE OPPOSITION ALLIANCE AND FORMER MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER, MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, SAYING: "The fact is that I am now the chairman of the grouping of opposition parties which is called Pakatan Harapan. And I think among the opposition I am the equivalent of Dato Sri Najib, although unofficially." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS REPORTERS LISTENING TO NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF THE OPPOSITION ALLIANCE AND FORMER MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER, MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, SAYING: "That is the assumption of people who are very uncomfortable seeing me working with Anwar. This is nothing new, before Anwar was against BN (National Front), he was against me but I accepted him into UMNO (United Malay National Organization) we work together for many many years and then certain things happened, we had to separate, now certain other things happen, we have to come together again." REPORTER ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF THE OPPOSITION ALLIANCE AND FORMER MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER, MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, SAYING: "Yes, if that is what people want, why not." PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING PHOTOS PLACARD READING (English) "NOTHING TO HIDE 2.0" MAHATHIR HOLDING PLACARD END OF NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 1st August 2017 10:55
- Keywords: Mahatir Mohammad Najib Razak PM election challenge to debate
- Location: PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA
- City: PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA
- Country: Malaysia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0016Q8UGQT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday (July 18) challenged Prime Minister Najib Razak to debate allegations of corruption and mismanagement leveled against them both during their terms in office.
Veteran leader Mahathir, 92, and his former protege Najib have been embroiled in a feud for nearly two years, with Mahathir campaigning to oust Najib over alleged graft linked to scandal-ridden state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Najib denies wrongdoing. Mahathir said Najib should attend a town hall session he dubbed "Nothing to Hide".
The government recently formed a royal commission to investigate a two-decade-old multi-billion-dollar foreign-exchange scandal that occurred during Mahathir's tenure as prime minister.
Mahathir, who ruled for 22 years, also said he is not opposed to his long-time nemesis turned ally, Anwar Ibrahim, becoming prime minister, "if that's what people want". Anwar is currently serving a jail term for sodomy, which the opposition leader and his supporters claim was a politically-motivated charge.
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