Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad announced Monday he was quitting the ruling party, saying it had degenerated into an organisation whose sole purpose was to protect scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Mahathir has for months been a leading voice calling for the ouster of Najib, who is under pressure over allegations that billions of dollars had been pilfered from state firms, and for accepting a mysterious $681 million sum from an overseas source.
“I want to leave UMNO because it is no longer UMNO,” Mahathir was quoted saying, referring to the United Malays National Organisation, which he led from 1981-2003.
“It is a party dedicated to protecting Najib. I can’t be a member of such a party,” the news portal Malaysiakini quoted him saying. Read More