SUBANG JAYA, Sept 9 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today it is the prerogative of the police to arrest him for attending the recent Bersih 4 rally if they felt there was a need to do so.

The former prime minister also said he will cooperate if he is called in for questioning over his participation in the mass rally organised by polls watchdog Bersih 2.0.

"It is their (authorities) right. Tangkaplah (arrest me)," he told reporters upon arriving at the Subang Airport after returning from a trip to Czech Republic.

"I read in newspapers. Of course I will go, if police calls you for an investigation you must go. That is the way of life here in Malaysia," he added.

Dr Mahathir also defended the statements he made during his press conference at the Bersih 4 rally where he accused Umno leaders of being corrupt.

"That's what I know. I know they were bribed. Don't bluff, don't lie. Tell the truth," he said.

Days after the rally on August 29 and 30, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar announced that the police are investigating Dr Mahathir for allegedly defaming Umno during the event.

The country’s top policeman said the investigation falls under section 500 of the Penal Code, and was kicked off after several Umno division leaders filed police reports against Dr Mahathir over his bribery allegations.

Section 500 of the Penal Code outlines the penalty for defamation, which carries a maximum two-year jail, a fine, or both.

However, the national police chief added that Dr Mahathir would not be subjected to the usual police investigation routine and might be given slightly better treatment as he was a “statesman”.

Dr Mahathir had attended the overnight rally on both August 29 and 30.

During a press conference he had held on the second day of the rally at Central Market, Dr Mahathir had demanded that Datuk Seri Najib Razak step down as prime minister.

The fourth prime minister also alleged that several Umno leaders were corrupt and they have not said anything against Najib's administration which has been embattled by various crisis including debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Since then, several police reports against Dr Mahathir have been lodged around the country by a few parties including Umno members.

- themalaymailonline.com-

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