Malaysian PM’s son quits party post


KUALA LUMPUR, Reuters

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s second son, who quit his business interests in April, has given up his post in the ruling party’s youth wing, officials said on Tuesday.

Mokhzani Mahathir resigned as treasurer of the United Malays National Organization’s (UMNO) youth section for “many reasons” that could not be disclosed, the party’s youth chief said.

“I wish to inform here that Brother Mokhzani and I have discussed this for long and both of us feel the time has come for him to hand over his post and responsibilities to a successor,” UMNO Youth leader Hishamuddin Hussein Onn told reporters.

Hishamuddin refused to say if Mokhzani was leaving of his accord or if there had been any attempt to persuade him to stay on.

“I don’t need to tell you that,” he said.

Mokhzani could not be reached for comment.

UMNO, which dominates Malaysia’s ruling coalition, is led by Mokhzani’s 75-year-old father.

Mahathir engaged in a campaign against money politics in UMNO to try to improve the party’s image in the face of faltering support among the country’s majority Malays.

Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin resigned earlier this month amid talk of a rift with Mahathir, denied by the prime minister. Daim also resigned from the powerful position as UMNO treasurer.

Mahathir is reviewing several decisions taken by Daim over the last few months, including planned government bailouts for business tycoons with close ties to the former finance minister.

In April, Mokhzani said he was withdrawing from his business interests as enemies of his father were trying to smear the family name.

Mokhzani announced he had sold his stakes in Pantai Holdings Bhd and Tongkah Holdings Bhd and stood down as the head of both companies.