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Najib 'stealing' the election: The Economist

  • "Under any reasonable electoral system, the coalition running Malaysia would not be in office in the first place."

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 9 (MySinchew) -- In an article published Thursday, The Economist accused Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak of "stealing" the election.

The article said with so many scandals, an administration like that should be struggling to win an election.

"Under any reasonable electoral system, the coalition running Malaysia would not be in office in the first place," it said.

"This ill-deserved victory (in 2013), however, occurred before news broke of the looting of 1MDB, a development agency whose board of advisers was chaired by the prime minister, Najib Razak.

"America’s Justice Department has accused him and his stepson, among others, of siphoning money out of 1MDB through an elaborate series of fraudulent transactions. Much of the money went on luxuries, it says, including paintings by Picasso and Monet, a private jet, diamond necklaces, a penthouse in Manhattan and a gambling spree in Las Vegas.

"In February Indonesia seized a $250 million yacht that the Americans say was bought with Malaysian taxpayers’ money. Authorities in Switzerland and Singapore have also been investigating."

The Economist went on to say that Najib had denied any wrongdoing but his administration did not try hard to clear things up and had instead charged an opposition lawmaker for leaking details of official investigation the government refused to make public.

One trick to save the current administration, the report said, was gerrymandering, by redrawing constituency boundaries.

"Najib may be venal, but he is not stupid. He fears that most voters would not return him to office if given a choice, so he is taking their choice away."

Read the full article on The Economist here.

 

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