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Malaysia’s top two judges, election chief resign amid purge of senior officials

Muslim Times(Web Desk) -Malaysia’s top two judges and its election chief have tendered their resignations as the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad purges senior officials seen close to the previous administration.

A judiciary statement said on Wednesday that Chief Justice Raus Sharif and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, the appeals court president, would step down on July 31.

“His Majesty the King had given his assent to their resignation on June 8,” the statement read.

The judges had their terms extended last year despite exceeding the legal retirement age of 66.

Meanwhile, an Election Commission statement said Mohamad Hashim, who became election chief in January 2016, would see his service period “shortened” to July 1.

Mahathir Mohamad, who is 92 and serving as prime minister for the second time, won a shock election victory last month on a pledge to clean up a government beset by scandal and other abuses.

The list of top officials who have either stepped down or been removed from their posts has steadily become longer over the past few weeks.

The attorney-general and the central bank governor both left their jobs after allegations related to a scandal surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Ousted former Prime Minister Najib Razak, his family and cronies, were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the fund in a sophisticated fraud. Najib, who has been questioned by anti-graft investigators twice over the controversy since losing power, and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.

Mahathir has vowed to bring Najib to justice over allegations that billions of dollars were looted from 1MDB.

In Mahathir, the opposition found the perfect person to take on Najib. He is a staunch Malay nationalist who could appeal to the country’s biggest ethnic group, and whose years in power were remembered as a prosperous period in the country’s history.

 

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