Malaysian ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad warned yesterday elections next month will be the dirtiest in the country's history due to cheating by the "monster" prime minister, but insisted his opposition alliance has a fighting chance.
Mahathir, who led Malaysia for over two decades, has been spurred out of retirement aged 92 to take on Najib Razak by allegations the premier was involved in an audacious scheme to plunder state fund 1MDB.
Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing. Mahathir is the prime ministerial candidate in an opposition packed with former foes but is not expected to be able to beat the party that he used to lead.
The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has a firm grip on power, and critics charge the government is seeking to rig the poll.
Nevertheless the May 9 election could be the toughest ever for BN, which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.
In an interview with AFP, Mahathir warned the vote would be the "dirtiest" seen in Malaysia. The opposition has been angered by what they claim is gerrymandering and attacks on them by the government.
"In the history of Malaysian elections, we don't have this kind of manipulation," said Mahathir.