15 August 2015
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s recent moves at managing criticism over the “1MDB scandal” run the risk of appearing motivated solely by political self-preservation; this could negatively impact public confidence in his government.
The Najib-led government has a difficult job managing public calls for transparency over the 1MDB issue and upholding its credibility in an increasingly critical public domain. Recent strong-armed moves by the government that include the suppression of the media, sacking of dissenters within the cabinet, and implementing changes that have stalled the official investigations, not only give the perception of governmental interference over the 1MDB issue; they also heighten other challenges that the government will have to contend with: protests by civil society groups demanding transparency and accountability, and the potential for factional splits within UMNO.
Calls for more transparency over recent allegations that tarnish Najib’s credibility have largely not been met. Instead, the government has responded to the increased public scrutiny with the temporary suspension of printing permits in Malaysia of two print publications by The Edge and an online blocking of the London-based Sarawak Report.
… Saleena Saleem is an Associate Research Fellow and David Han Guo Xiong is a Research Analyst with the Malaysia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015