Malaysia's ruling party has suspended a senior official who had asked for a deeper investigation into allegations of corruption at the country's state investment fund and is also investigating a website that reported on the scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) suspended Muhyiddin Yassin, a deputy party president, citing his failure to support Prime Minister Najib Razak, The WSJ reported. Muhyiddin had previously been fired by Najib from his position as deputy prime minister.
"If we want to see Malaysia return to a respected country in which the people can live a more prosperous life, we need to be prepared to demand change," Muhyiddin said in a statement on Saturday, according to The WSJ.
In addition, the government is also proposing changes to Malaysian laws that would allow caning and life imprisonment for journalists and others found guilty of receiving leaked documents, the newspaper said.
On Friday, the editor of an online news organization said was asked to appear before police after the communications regulator blocked access to the website. Police tweeted that the website's coverage of the fund was confusing, according to The WSJ.
Efforts by The WSJ to reach Najib on Saturday were unsuccessful, . He has denied wrongdoing or taking money for personal gain.