KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 ― Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today spent 30 minutes answering 37 questions from the police in a criminal defamation investigation triggered by his recent suggestion that the Malay rulers may be under house arrest.
His lawyer Ahmad Bazlan Che Kassim told reporters, however, that most of the questions centred on the Citizens’ Declaration, the petition calling for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation that Dr Mahathir started.
“The questions are about the (police) report lodged against him in making remarks related to house arrest of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. A total of 37 questions were asked and most of them were on Citizen’s Declaration,” he told reporters outside Yayasan Albukhary, where the former prime minister was interviewed.
He added that both parties were very cooperative during the session and that Dr Mahathir responded to all the questions.
The lawyer also confirmed that Dr Mahathir was being investigated under Section 500 of Penal Code, which covers defamation.
Another lawyer, Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali later told reporters that there was no confirmation on whether the former prime minister would face charges.
If convicted under Section 500 of the Penal Code, Dr Mahathir faces a maximum two-year jail term or a fine, or both.
Last month, Dr Mahathir told a forum that he had not been able to secure an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to deliver his Citizens’ Declaration memorandum bearing over a million signatures.
He claimed this was likely because the rulers have been confined to their palaces.