Malaysia’s anti-corruption body confirms investigation into former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad

Tun Mahathir

25th April 2024 – (Kuala Lumpur) Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has officially confirmed its investigation into former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. This announcement on Thursday put an end to weeks of speculation about whether Mahathir would be caught up in a sweeping corruption crackdown that has already implicated several of his family members and prominent business figures.

The confirmation from MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki links the investigation directly to earlier actions taken against Mahathir’s family, particularly his two eldest sons, who were previously summoned to declare their assets. “In this investigation, [Mahathir] is among those being investigated,” Azam stated during a press conference broadcast nationally, adding that details of the alleged offences would remain confidential during the ongoing inquiry.

This investigation marks a dramatic chapter in the complex political narrative of Mahathir, who has served twice as Malaysia’s prime minister. His recent challenges began when MACC issued asset declaration notices to his sons, Mokhzani and Mirzan, both of whom are influential business figures in their own right. The inquiry stems partly from leaked documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which named the siblings in offshore business dealings.

The octogenarian former leader, recently hospitalised for nearly two months due to an infection, has vocally criticized the corruption probes as politically motivated. Tensions have notably increased between Mahathir and current Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, once his protégé turned political rival. The historical backdrop includes a fallout that led to Anwar’s dismissal and subsequent imprisonment in the late 1990s—a pivotal event in Malaysia’s political landscape.

Moreover, this investigation coincides with separate charges against other associates of Mahathir, including prominent businessman Daim Zainuddin and his wife, as well as the recent indictment of tycoon Robert Tan Hua Choon over alleged false declarations linked to government contracts.