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Malaysia in transition

Mahathir's party disbanded temporarily by Malaysian authorities

No activities allowed for 30 days as election looms

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.   © Reuters

Malaysian authorities ordered former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's political party to disband temporarily for 30 days, local media The Star reported Thursday.

Surayati Ibrahim, director-general of Malaysia's Registrar of Societies, an authority that handles issues of political parties and nongovernmental organizations, said Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, or PPBM, failed to fulfill the department's request for detailed information on its annual general meeting held in December 2017.

For 30 days, PPBM is not allowed to conduct any party activity or use its logo. The party will be permanently disbanded if it fails to answer the authority's request within the period. PPBM has 30 days to appeal.

The crackdown comes just ahead of the general election. Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to dissolve parliament as early as Friday, with election day likely late April or early May. Mahathir leads the coalition of opposition parties.

Singapore's The Straits Times reported that the party criticized the authority's action as an "abuse of power by a regime that is desperate to stay in office."

-- Masayuki Yuda in Tokyo

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