25 August 2015
The Malaysian government, led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, has a difficult job managing public calls for transparency over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue and upholding its credibility in an increasingly critical public domain.
Recent strong-arm moves by the government, including the suppression of the media, sacking of dissenters within the Cabinet, and implementation of changes that have stalled the official investigations, not only give the perception of governmental interference over the 1MDB issue; they also heighten other challenges the government will have to contend with.
These include protests by civil society groups demanding transparency and accountability, and the potential for factional splits within United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
Calls for more transparency over allegations that tarnish Mr 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 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. This commentary first appeared in RSIS Commentaries.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 16/11/2015