10 December 2015
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak vowed on Thursday to remain in power despite a public clamor for him to step down over a corruption scandal.
Mindful of growing dissent within his own party, the ruling United Malays National Organization, a defiant Najib took to the stage at UMNO annual general assembly to protest his innocence and denounce his critics.
In a speech in front of over 2,700 delegates and guests including his chief critic former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the besieged UMNO President said of the corruption scandal, “I am on the side of the righteous and the truth will prevail.”
Najib has been under attack following an expose by the Wall Street Journal on July 3 that claimed he pocketed nearly $700 million from companies linked to heavily indebted state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, where he chairs the advisory board and where, as finance minister, he also oversees the fund.
… Political watcher Yang Razali Kassim, a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, opined that grassroots sentiment could be hard to read due to the climate of fear as several vocal members who dared to speak out against Najib had faced the sack.
Pointing out that Muhyiddin had received warm reception by the delegates at the annual assembly, he said people keeping quiet “does not mean they don’t support Muhyiddin.”
For now, he said, “Najib is coming out with a strengthened position in the party.”
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 11/12/2015