Friday, 22 March 2013

Malay:A two-year election campaign nears its climax

WITH a tight election coming up, it is politics as usual in Malaysia—only more so. This month alone has seen the opposition accused of colluding in a foreign invasion of the state of Sabah in Borneo; the death of a private investigator, reviving stories of the grisly murder in 2006 of a beautiful Mongolian woman linked to a friend of the prime minister, Najib Razak; the leader of the opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, denying that he was one of two men appearing in grainy pictures online in an affectionate clinch; and a film shot on hidden cameras that appears to show large-scale corruption in the government of the other Malaysian state in Borneo, Sarawak.
Sailing blithely above the mud and filth that make Malaysian political waters so murky, Mr Najib went on national television on March 19th to deliver the scorecard on the “transformation programme” his government has implemented. He had a good story to tell, of robust economic growth of 5.6% in 2012, poverty virtually eliminated, inequality reduced and 400 legal cases against corruption initiated. And he was able to announce that a scheme to give cash handouts to poorer households will become an annual even


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