Archive for category Mahathir

Najib Is a Survivor in Malaysia’s ‘Game of Thrones’

Donald Greenlees
National Interest
April 20, 2016

In the court of domestic and international public opinion, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is guilty of a level of corruption and abuse of office not seen in Southeast Asia since the days of the dictators. Najib’s rule evokes memories of Marcos’ Philippines and Suharto’s Indonesia. The parallels include a family bent on amassing vast wealth.

There is now enough evidence in the public domain to warrant the removal of Najib from office. But will he go?

Najib did consider resigning last year when the scandals over the plundered sovereign wealth fund, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), split his cabinet according to a source familiar with discussions at the time. The condition Najib set was that he and his wife were granted immunity from prosecution.

But talk of an early departure has now dissipated. It appears likely Najib will try to stay in office and fight for re-election in 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Malaysians Want To See Proton Go Bankrupt?

Koon Yew Yin
18th April 2016

I am not surprised to see The Edge front page article ”SAVING PROTON” on 18th April 2016. Dr Mahathir, the founder of Proton was interviewed last week by The Edge. You can read the whole interview on page 65.

Among several other questions, Dr Mahathir was asked “Do you think the Rm 1.5 billion soft loan can turn Proton around? “

Answer quote “Well, under the present condition, yes, but we would have been able to turn around earlier. Proton car sales today have plummeted unusually because normally, we sell about 4,000 cars a week. It came down to 2,000 cars a week, which we can still survive on. We don’t understand why. This month, it came down to 200 cars a week. We don’t understand why”.

I am sure all Malaysians can understand why if you read on. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia on the wrong track

Opinion
THE AUSTRALIAN
APRIL 14, 2016

Malaysia’s use of its colonial-era Sedition Act to frame possible charges against former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad following his interview with The Weekend Australian is a worrying sign of the extent to which democracy, civil rights and stability are under threat in one of the most important countries in our region. Dr Mahathir, 90, was Malaysian prime minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. But that has not saved him from the ire of the incumbent Prime Minister, Najib Razak. Mr Najib is fighting for political survival amid the $1 billion 1MDB sovereign wealth fund corruption scandal. Although he was widely regarded as Mr Najib’s mentor, Dr Mahathir is now fiercely critical of Mr Najib, demanding his removal from office.

In his recorded interview with our Southeast Asia correspondent Amanda Hodge, Dr Mahathir argued “foreign interference” was needed to oust Mr Najib, saying: “Normally I don’t like foreign interference in Malaysia’s affairs but our avenues for redress have been closed completely. So now we have to allow interference in our domestic affairs.” Under pressure, Dr Mahathir has since sought to qualify those remarks, saying he did not ask for foreign governments to interfere. But that has not pacified Mr Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ariff: Malays must shed fairy tales, false notions

Joe Fernandez | April 5, 2016
Free Malaysia Today

Mahathir, like the Malays, was wrong to assume that Najib Razak’s nobility can be equated to him doing what’s right and carrying out noble deeds
ariff,mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR: Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, taking to his blog, said that he was present at Dataran Merdeka on April 1 when former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at 91, addressed the crowd at an anti-GST rally. “The gathering this time was not as large as that during the Bersih rallies although the issue was also about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.”

“The weather was too hot and besides, the GST issue was too technical for many unlike what Bersih was all about.”

The people, added the MP, prefer the big picture. “The people want to see Najib out from Putrajaya and replaced by a government that’s aware of the environment.”

As Mahathir spoke, said Ariff, he couldn’t help but feel that Najib was also a result of the former Prime Minister’s fault. “It was a mistake on his part to believe that Najib comes from a noble family and will naturally do what’s right.” Read the rest of this entry »

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No room for opportunism in politics, says Kit Siang

by S Thayaparan
Malaysiakini
30 Mar 2016

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

INTERVIEW | This is the second part of an interview with DAP leader Lim Kit Siang on why he is willing to work with his nemesis, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in the ‘Save Malaysia’ campaign.

The first part appeared yesterday.

DAP has always struggled with the perception and Umno propaganda that it is a “Chinese” entity. Do you think that the DAP has made some missteps that gives credence to this perception?

DAP had never aspired to be a Chinese or non-Malay party. Right from the beginning during DAP’s formation in 1966, DAP had pledged itself to pursue a Malaysian Dream, not a Chinese Dream, an Indian Dream or a Malay Dream.

This is why DAP is the first political party in the country to be Pan-Malaysian, establishing branches in Sarawak and Sabah before any other political party in the country.

All through the past five decades, DAP had been accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam by Umno, because of Umno fear that the DAP will be able to make inroads into Umno spheres of influence with our Malaysian political appeal, transcending race, religion or region.

No political party seeking support from all Malaysians can be anti-Malay or anti-Islam, or for that matter, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Dayak, anti-Kadazandusun or anti-Buddhism, anti-Christianity, anti-Hindiuism or anti-Sikhism.

The battle against such lies and falsehoods had been a particularly uphill battle for the DAP because we had to face the full onslaught of the Umno juggernaut with its control and ownership of the mass media, particularly in the era before the advent of Internet, news portals and the social media.

However difficult the terrain, DAP had never wavered from our objectives and principles that the DAP had been formed not to fight for any one race but for all races and Malaysians in the country!

This is why right from the beginning, starting from the first general election in 1969 contested by the DAP, the party had always put up a multi-racial and multi-religious slate of candidates.

In fact, in the 1969 general election, two Malay state assemblymen were elected, one in Perak and the other in Negri Sembilan. In the past 11 general elections, DAP had elected Malay members of parliament and state assembly representatives in peninsular Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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First time Dr M accused of being my puppet, laments Kit Siang

by S Thayaparan
Malaysiakini
29 Mar 2016

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

INTERVIEW | Very few Malaysians can say they have they lived up to the second part of the famous John F Kennedy quote “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” as DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has.

After decades of wrestling with his political adversary, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for the soul of Malaysians after years of being on the receiving end of the all-encompassing power of the Umno state, the honourable gentleman from Gelang Patah, found himself part of a joint declaration along with Mahathir, calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

While the DAP has enjoyed a political resurgence with a newly awakened electorate, the long struggle against the Umno state has not diminished the enthusiasm and vigour of one the few people who can credibly claim title to elder statesmanship.

Here in two parts, Lim Kit Siang, explains what is at stake when it comes to the machinations of the Najib state, boldly answers questions from a sceptic (the writer) and reminds Malaysians that while we must never excuse the sins of the past, we can move beyond them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Mahathir and Anwar’s uneasy alliance unseat Najib?

Yang Razali Kassim
East Asia Forum
RSIS
22 March 2016

The unthinkable is happening in Malaysian politics. Former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad and his jailed former deputy Anwar Ibrahim have joined hands in a seemingly impossible alliance to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak. Never before in Malaysian history have such sworn enemies buried their hatchets for a common cause.

By launching his rainbow ‘core group’ of concerned citizens of various political stripes and leanings to ‘Save Malaysia’, Mahathir has once again thrust himself into the eye of the political storm. With Anwar still in jail, the disparate forces that opposed Najib over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investment fund scandal have finally found someone of stature to rally around in a marriage of convenience. It is ironic that the man who crushed the opposition while in power has reinvented himself in retirement as the de facto leader of what in essence is a citizens’ revolt.

Mahathir himself described this as a ‘very strange group of people’, brought together by a common goal of ousting the scandal-hit prime minister. By calling it a ‘core group’, Mahathir is indicating that this is only the beginning of more moves to come. What could emerge down the road is still hazy. But it is safe to say that a new era in Malaysian politics is unfolding with the key players jostling for a place in the shifting ground. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr. Mahathir’s Attempt at Redemption

Koon Yew Yin
29th March 2016

Like many Malaysians who followed the Citizen’s Declaration Congress which was televised live yesterday by our internet media (thanks to our brave independent media for daring to put it out for public viewing!), I thought that the star of the daylong event was Dr Mahathir.

Although the oldest speaker there by a big margin, at 90 years old, he appeared the youngest and smartest of the group of 19 speakers! We could all see that his mind is still sharp; his wit is one of a kind; and his political instincts still intact. His was also the most enjoyable speech to listen to.

Earlier, UMNO’s Secretary General, Tengku Adnan put out a stern warning to UMNO members not to attend the Shah Alam gathering as he saw it as a platform to destroy an institution and create chaos while serving to achieve certain individuals’ goals and agenda.

What silliness coming from someone who is leader in a so-called democratic party. This was a stupid action and shows the extent of desperation and authoritarianism found in the party’s leadership. I am sure despite his warning tens if not hundreds of thousands of UMNO members will have tuned to the websites to view the programme.

And if Tengku Adnan himself and the other apple polishers and “Cash is King” followers in UMNO were also listening to Dr. Mahathir’s speech – as I think many of them would be doing – I hope they not only feel fearful but also feel ashamed for blindly supporting the Prime Minister in this period of our political history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ku Li, you have let the rakyat down

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
28 Mar 2016

Politicians like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah cause the electorate to lose faith in politics. Affectionately known as Ku Li, he confirms our suspicions of him. He is all spin and no substance. He joins a long list of sycophants who should have had the interests of the rakyat at heart, but at the critical moment, let down the people and himself. Where are the men of integrity and honour?

Ku Li’s betrayal may not matter now, because a majority of the population still cast their votes. In time, this number will drop because they will see politicians as untrustworthy.

So, was it emotion, or political expediency which prompted Ku Li to sign the ‘Kelantan Declaration’? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Critics Roll Out ‘Save Malaysia’ Campaign Against Premier

Anuradha Raghu/Manirajan Ramasamy
Bloomberg
March 27, 2016

Malaysian opposition politicians and leading critics of Prime Minister Najib Razak unveiled a fresh campaign aimed at ousting him, after months of attacks over a funding scandal failed to substantially dent his support.

Former premier Mahathir Mohamad and ex-deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin were among those who addressed more than 2,000 people at a convention center in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, with each of the 18 speakers conveying the same message: Najib must go now.

“The wait for two years for the next general elections is too long,” Mahathir said. “Our situation is very bad. We need to recover quickly and two years will be too late.”

Najib is facing his biggest political crisis since coming to power seven years ago as questions linger over $681 million which appeared in his accounts before the last election in 2013, funds the attorney-general said were a donation from the Saudi royal family. Mahathir, the country’s longest serving leader who governed until 2003, has waged a public campaign for months to get Najib out of office. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP is now the target of a systematic attack by UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers – starting with Guan Eng and me

Serdang Parliamentary constituency, of which Balakong is one of the three constituent state assembly seats, is the 98th Parliamentary constituency I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22, 2015 for demanding answers to the simple questions as to the source, the donor or donors, of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts before the 13th General Election in May 2013 and where the astronomical sums of monies have gone to.

I wanted public feedback whether Malaysians agree with me that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak must answer the teeming questions which multiply by the day about his RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals which are now the subject of separate investigations by seven other countries as well as landed the country with the new infamy of being among the world’s ten most corrupt nations.

However, in the past 10 days since the historic event in Kuala Lumpur on March 4 where 42 political and civil society leaders signed and proclaimed the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia, I have sought public feedback on a second issue in 18 of these 98 parliamentary constituencies I visited– whether the Malaysian public support the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia, and in particular my working with former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir to Save Malaysia despite our differences in the past, including his responsibility for my and Lim Guan Eng’s imprisonment.

However, since the past week, there is third issue grabbing public attention – allegation of corruption against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and insinuation in the government and UMNO/BN owned and controlled media that Guan Eng is like former Selangor Mentri Besar Khir Toyo.

There is no basis whatsoever in such a comparison. Read the rest of this entry »

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Politics and business – fundamental differences between Dr M and Najib

By Terence Gomez
Malaysiakini
Published 22 Mar 2016, 9:20 am

COMMENT These are unprecedented times in Malaysian politics. On March 4, when the Citizens’ Declaration was announced, its signatories comprised such a large number of longstanding political adversaries that the event was deemed the coming together of extremely strange bedfellows. These adversaries included former Umno president and prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former opposition leader and DAP secretary-general Lim Kit Siang.

What brought them together as joint signatories to this 37-point declaration was their similar goal to compel Najib Abdul Razak to resign as prime minister. Najib, according to this declaration, has refused to sue international news agencies that have made serious allegations of corruption against him involving 1MDB Bhd, a sovereign wealth fund he directly controls as finance minister, and he has curbed institutions from conducting an independent investigation into the charge that he has violated public office.
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Invitation to MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers to the People’s Congress on Save Malaysia Citizen Declaration in Shah Alam on Sunday to demonstrate their patriotism and love for Malaysia

Simpalek New Village has a special place in Malaysian political electoral history, because it was in Simpalek during the Raub by-election in May 1983, that a MCA Deputy Minister had a misstep and fell into a drain, but he tried to exploit it to political advantage by accusing the DAP of instigating DAP members and supporters to push him the drain.

But there were photographs on record to show that nobody pushed the Deputy Minister into the drain.

After the ‘longkang’ incident, the Deputy Minjster went around Raub limping on a tongkat, except that he forgot which foot should be injured, and he was photographed limping on a different foot when going in and coming out of Simpalek new village MCA premises.

The MCA Deputy Minister’s falling into a drain and limping around on the foot which was supposed to be injured in the fall became the laughing stock in the by-election.

The DAP victory in the Raub by-election, which was one of the triple by-election victories after the Kepayang state assembly by-election in Perak and the Seremban parliamentary by-election in 18 months after the 1982 General Election marked the revival of DAP after a disastrous electoral performance in the first five general elections under Mahathir’s 22-year premiership which had used the gleaming slogan of ABC, “amanah, bersih and cekap”.

Now, the fourth and longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir is on the same page with 44 other political and civil society leaders who collectively signed and proclaimed the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016 to demand removal of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the Prime Minister and for meaningful democratic and institutional reforms. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let “Save Malaysia” be the uniting objective and vision of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to stop Malaysia hurtling down the slippery slope towards a failed and a rogue state

On 4th March 2016, an unprecedented and historic event took place in Kuala Lumpur – the signing and proclamation of the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia by 45 political and civil society leaders which bridged the political divide for the first time in 59 years of the nation’s history.

The Citizens’ Declaration called for the resignation of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister for having embroiled Malaysia in the 1MDB scandal, the worst mega scandal in the nation’s history, and plunging the country to be among the world’s worst countries in corruption.

For eight long months, Najib had not only refused to sue international news publications that have made serious allegations of corruption against him involving the 1MDB scandal, he had also undermined full and independent investigation into the twin mega scandals which include the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal, as well as subverted the independence, professionalism and integrity of national institutions which include the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Police.

Even more important, the Citizens’ Declaration recognized that the multiple crisis afflicting Malaysia is not just because of an individual but a systemic one, which is why it also called for “democratic and institutional reforms” to restore the important principle of the separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary to ensure the independence, credibility, professionalism and integrity of national institutions.

I have visited 97 parliamentary constituencies since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22, 2015 for demanding answers to the simple questions as to the source, the donor or donors, of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts before the 13th General Election in May 2013 and where the astronomical sums have gone to.

I wanted public feedback whether Malaysians agree that the Prime Minister should stop his tactics of procrastination and denial but should answer directly the teeming questions asked by the public and the world about Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals.

In the past two weeks since March 4, in the 17 parliamentary constituencies in Kelantan, Kedah, Perlis and Pahang, I had also sought public feedback on the historic national development on March 4, the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Save Malaysia’ campaign to oust Najib brings political foes together

By Melissa Goh
Malaysia Bureau Chief
Channel NewsAsia
16 Mar 2016

Political enemies in Malaysia have banded together in a campaign led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, the man who has been leading a year-long campaign to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak, has called for a referendum on Mr Najib’s leadership.

In the campaign, political enemies came together in early March to sign a declaration calling for the removal of Mr Najib, in what they claimed was nothing less than an attempt to save the country from becoming a failed state.

The group included Lim Kit Siang, a former political prisoner from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and civil rights activists who have blamed Dr Mahathir for many of the perceived faults in the nation’s political system. Even Dr Mahathir’s former deputy Anwar Ibrahim, whom he fired and jailed, offered an olive branch from behind bars.

“What Dr Mahathir may be trying to get at in the Citizens’ Declaration and in working with Kit Siang and the DAP and other groups, is to prepare the ground for the next general elections. Mahathir’s support for DAP and the new grouping perhaps could be important in terms of mobilising rural Malay support,” explained Michael Yeoh, executive director of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute. Read the rest of this entry »

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Not business as usual in Malaysia

by Bridget Welsh
New Mandala
17 March 2016

Malaysian politics is entering new and rough terrain, writes Bridget Welsh. And the longer Najib stays in power the worse the country will be.

The formation of an alliance of former foes this month marks a turning point in Malaysia’s contemporary political history.

The Citizen’s Declaration opposing premier Najib Tun Razak through peaceful means and calling for political reform was signed by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and leaders of the 1999 reformasi movement who opposed his leadership, other senior leaders in the dominant party UMNO, civil society activists who mobilised the masses to protest the party’s rule, and long-standing traditional political party antagonists.

To get these men and women to sit down together reflected the depth of concern among prominent Malaysians, who opted to put their country’s future before its political past. At issue was not just the scandals plaguing the country, but its declining economic fortunes, exacerbated by declining revenues from oil and gas and poor governance.

In response, the government has intensified a crackdown on international and Malaysia’s media, strengthened the government’s relationship with conservative elements in the Islamist party PAS, and to portrayed the Declaration as a conspiracy to topple the government — measures that have only deepened the ongoing crisis of confidence with Najib Tun Razak.

In contrast to the cool portrayal of ‘business as usual’, Malaysian politics is entering new and rough terrain. The democratic slide will continue, as Najib fights growing opposition to and disappointment in his leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia turns screw on media as politics realign

SIMON ROUGHNEEN
Asia regional correspondent
Nikkei Asian Review
March 16, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR — It was a brief, sudden goodbye. With its website blocked by the government since late February, hard-hitting news service The Malaysian Insider announced on March 14 that it would cease to publish on the same day.

“The Edge Media Group has decided to shut down The Malaysian Insider from midnight today, for commercial reasons,” wrote the editor, Jahabar Sadiq, in a notice posted on the publication’s website, which had been blocked because of its reports on corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said The Malaysian Insider’s reporting broke the law as it amounted to “improper use of network facilities or network service.”

Najib has fended off calls for his resignation over hundreds of millions of dollars credited to his personal bank accounts in 2013, saying the money was donated by the Saudi royal family. He has also brushed off recent allegations that the total sum in his accounts amounted to $1 billion and came from troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, at which Najib is the chair of the advisory board. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir no solution for Malaysia’s mess

— Manjit Bhatia
Malay Mail Online
March 15, 2016

MARCH 15 — In hounding Malaysia’s scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak from office, the autocratic Dr Mahathir, his old foes and others have moulded a union — of sorts. Hailed a “realignment” of Malaysia’s politics, some analysts immediately claimed Najib and his clique can’t ignore its peerless example. But is this unholy alliance all that it’s cracked up to be?

Awfully doubtful. Cracks surfaced even before this “political force” is properly forged. A little over a week later and its legs are buckling already.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat wants Anwar Ibrahim, its jailed founder, symbolic head and one-time Mahathir protégé, unconditionally released from prison, to which Mahathir must agree as part of the overall agenda. And elections reformist group Bersih wants Mahathir to admit and apologise for his past sins.

Mahathir has sneered at these tangents. No doubt the alliance’s champions will paper over the cracks. Time will prove that utility. But time is shorter than 90-year-old Mahathir thinks. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Malaysia’s push to stifle scandal questions backfired as journalists deported

By Philip Sherwell
Asia Editor
Telegraph
16 Mar 2016

Malaysia’s embattled prime minister Najib Razak is cracking down on critics as international probes into funding scandal intensify

The Malaysian administration has waged an increasingly heavy-handed campaign to muzzle dissent and divert attention as a funding scandal and corruption allegations shake his administration.

Earlier this week, Malaysia deported two Australian journalists who attempted to question the embattled prime minister Najib Razak about a $680 million payment into his bank account.

The reporter and cameraman from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were detained and threatened with charges after they approached the Malaysian leader at a public event to which media were invited.

And Malaysian Insider, an outspoken news website critical of the prime minister, closed this week a few days after the government suspended its operations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Razak: Malaysian PM has diminishing room to manoeuvre

Greg Lopez
The Interpreter
14 March 2016

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s scandal-linked tenure has continued unabated but now his foes from various sides of the political divide have coalesced to pressure him to resign. This latest unified effort to unseat him could push him over the edge.

International media last year pronounced Najib ‘a dead man walking’ after he admitted to an allegation — of having more than $700 million in his private account — made by the Wall Street Journal. Yet he has remained in power, due largely to the sheer coercive powers and vast resources of the Malaysian institutions that he controls as both prime minister of Malaysia, and president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

Najib was never the most popular within the party. He rose to the top of the UMNO over many colleagues by patiently waiting, and betting on the right horses at the right time. He made more than a few enemies along the way. As soon as he was named deputy prime minister in 2004, his opponents sought to bring him down. That he lasted as deputy (2004-2009), and now as prime minister (April 2009 – present), under the most trying circumstances reflects a determination and instinct his rivals did not anticipate. Read the rest of this entry »

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