Asia

Mukhriz Mahathir: Malaysian PM's critic ousted

File photo of Mukhriz Mahathir Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mukhriz Mahathir resigned after losing majority support in Kedah state (File photo)

The top official of a Malaysian federal state has resigned saying he was ousted because of his criticism of the Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mukhriz Mahathir, son of former PM Mahathir Mohamad, lost majority support in the northern Kedah state assembly.

He has called for Mr Razak to step down over the scandal surrounding a $681m (£479m) deposit in his bank account.

Malaysia's top prosecutor has cleared the prime minister of corruption.

Mr Mukhriz said he lost his majority support following a party bid to remove him from his post as Kedah's chief minister.

Malaysia's 'mysterious millions' - case solved?

What is the controversy about?

Profile: Najib Razak

The move was supported by Mr Razak's loyalists at the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, which has led all of the country's ruling multi-ethnic coalitions since Malaysia's formation in 1957.

He and his father have been calling for the resignation of Mr Razak over a long-running financial scandal that has gripped Malaysia.

"The true reason for this action against me is due to my criticism of the prime minister, as he himself has admitted," Mr Muhkriz said in a statement read out at a press conference.

The state-owned investment fund 1MDB is involved in a multi-billion dollar scandal.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Razak has faced calls to step down amid the scandal

Critics have said that the money received by the prime minister came from the fund, accusations that Mr Najib has consistently denied.

In January, the country's attorney-general's office said the deposit was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family.

The prime minister's office said in a statement that Mr Mukhriz had lost majority support because he faced a lack of confidence and there were concerns about preparations for the party to retain Kedah in the 2018 elections.

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