KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was appointed as adviser for state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), replacing another former premier Mahathir Mohamad who was fired from the post two weeks ago.
Abdullah’s appointment is effective April 1, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement on Friday.
Abdullah, who Mahathir handpicked as his successor, led the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition to its worst electoral outing in 2008 when it lost its parliamentary super-majority for the first time in the country’s history. He stepped down in 2009, paving the way for Najib to take the lead.
Mahathir, the country’s longest serving prime minister, was removed as Petronas’ adviser as he “no longer supported the current government”, Najib’s office said earlier this month.
Prior to the termination, Mahathir joined several opposition leaders to sign a “Citizen’s Declaration” calling for Najib’s resignation. He has also filed a lawsuit against Najib, alleging corruption and abuse of power.
Najib has come under criticism over allegations of corruption linked to the debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and deposits into his private accounts worth around $680 million.
He has denied any wrongdoing, maintains that he did not use the funds for personal gain and this year he was cleared of any criminal offence or corruption.
Reporting by Joseph Sipalan and Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Alison Williams