Election politics have taken an unusual turn in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, now heads an opposition alliance against the corrupt government of Prime Minister Najib Razak, which has done its utmost to destabilize his candidacy.
Mahathir is now accused by Najib of spreading “fake news” following a press conference in which he accused the government of “dirty tricks”.
Kuala Lumpur police have said they are investigating Mahathir under a new law banning fake news after complaints over Mahathir’s claim that his chartered plane was sabotaged last week to prevent him from filing his candidacy in the northern resort island of Langkawi. (AssociatedPress)
In Malaysia, if you criticize PM Najib, you can be arrested and indicted under a new law which bans fake news.
The fake news law was hastily adopted by parliament with a view to curbing dissent against the corrupt Najib government prior to the May 9 elections.
Mahathir, 92, has said he believed there was a “deliberate attempt” to stop him from going to Langkawi last Friday after the pilot found some damage to the jet just before departure. He said he tried to source for other planes but was rejected by three people, including one who claimed he was under pressure. Mahathir eventually found a plane and made it to the island to register Saturday for the polls.
“We are dealing with a government party which is known to use all kinds of tricks in order to win the election. And one of the tricks, of course, is to stop me from being nominated, and especially me, because I happen to be the leader of the opposition,” (Associated Press, op cit)
The outgoing Prime minister Najib is involved in financial fraud.”Hundreds of millions of dollars were paid into the account of Mr. X [PM Najib] “by a Saudi prince described as “mysterious”, and two British Virgin Island companies characterized as “shadowy”:
The revelations about the prime minister’s account are connected to the so-called 1MBD scandal involving Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. The fund has been an utter disaster, “mislaying” some $4 billion in total – and its advisory board is chaired by none other than Najib Razak. (See Mr X, Mondialisation.ca, 2016)
Needless to say, reference to corruption and embezzlement at the highest levels of government is categorized as “fake news” for which you can be arrested.
Mr. X – the codename that has actually been assigned to him at AmBank – has evidently been spared such indignities. The reason is that he is otherwise known as Najib Razak and has been Malaysia’s prime minister since 2009. (Ibid)