23 April 2018
1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief Arul Kanda is not contesting the general election.
But in the past six weeks, he has appeared before nearly 30,000 people, traversing the country in the run-up to the May 9 polls in a bid to counter allegations of fraud in the state investment fund.
The rising cost of living has often been cited by analysts as the top issue for voters but as the election becomes increasingly too close to call, the 1MDB scandal has returned to the fore with Malay voters more receptive to the allegations of impropriety levelled by influential former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who is now leader of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition pact.
“1MDB registered very low on the concerns of rural Malays in the past,” said Dr Johan Saravanamuttu of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “But with Mahathir harping on this, this community is sitting up to listen as he has the knack of simplifying a complex issue.
“Even if the intricacies are beyond them, a credible leader expressing his concerns is enough to sow seeds of doubt even among hardcore Umno supporters.”
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 24/04/2018