Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that a newly elected government led by Umno would appoint a new attorney-general who would "protect the crooks".
In a response to growing pressure from the Umno leadership on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve Parliament, Mahathir said the former ruling party was depending on the next general election to return to power.
"So the PM can steal money, can appoint the attorney-general and the AG can protect the crooks," the former prime minister said in a short, five-point statement titled "I want to advise you something", a line attributed to Rosmah Mansor, the wife of jailed former leader Najib Razak, in a telephone conversation leaked by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Days after Najib's jailing in August, Umno's Azalina Othman Said controversially suggested that Ismail should use his prime ministerial powers to appoint a friendly attorney-general.
"Whoever is prime minister must make the attorney-general his man," the former law minister told Umno members at a gathering to protest the Federal Court decision to send Najib to jail after dismissing his final appeal in the SRC International case.