Sunday, 5 May 2013

The black eye of Malaysian scandal politics - Al Jazeera

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Most countries, if not all, have had a dose of political intrigue, a few lofty falls from grace, or the embarrassing blunders of elected officials.

Yet even by this measure, the recent history of Malaysia has been utterly over the top.

The tight general elections set for Sunday have undoubtedly been influenced by the culture of scandal that has permeated domestic politics, but the outcome could determine if Malaysia is past all that or if it will sink deeper into the cross-fire of tabloid-style sleaze.

The two main players heading into the polls, one of whom will surely be the next leader of Malaysia, have hardly been immune, or averse, to political hardball.

Najib Razak, the prime minister, has vehemently denied links to the 2006 murder of a female Mongolian translator who was shot twice before her corpse was obliterated with C4 explosives in an abandoned field outside Kuala Lumpur.

Bone fragments linked the killing to two members of an elite police squad who have been described as Najib's former bodyguards. Both were sentenced to death by hanging.

The incident has been back in public re-play mode since March when a private investigator, who gave sworn testimony that placed Najib with the woman at a café in France, died of a heart attack. Najib took a public oath at a mosque to declare that he never met her.

His opponents, as could be expected, made public calls to re-open the case.

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