Former Malaysian PM quits ruling party

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 29 (IANS) Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday said he has decided to quit the ruling party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

Mahathir said he will not join another party or start a new one, Xinhua reported.

This is the second time that Mahathir has quit UMNO.

He did the same in May 2008 during the tenure of former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He rejoined the party when Najib Razak became the prime minister.

According to Mahathir, the party was no longer what it used to be and has turned into a party that was dedicated to retaining Razak’s position as the prime minister.

Mahathir was disappointed over controversies related to the debt-laden state investment company 1MDB (1 Malaysia Development Berhad), whose advisory board is chaired by Najib.

There were allegations that tens of millions of US dollars went into the prime minister’s personal account.

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