Barisan Nasional

The perception and consequences of rent-seeking

SINGAPORE (May 21): The Malaysian stock market reacted far better than initial prognoses by most market analysts, on the heels of the shocking — though not wholly unexpected, if the mini rally for certain stocks during the week of May 7 is any indication — defeat of the long-ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), in the 14th general election. Even the ringgit is holding up fairly well, especially considering the external backdrop of a strengthening US dollar and rising Treasury yields.


Malaysia investors shift to Mahathir's camp from Najib-linked losers

(May 14): Investors sorted Malaysia’s political haves from the have-nots on the first trading day after a shock election result, dumping shares in firms associated with supporters of ousted prime minister Najib Razak and projects backed by his government.

Veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad came out of retirement to lead the opposition Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) to a stunning victory over a ruling party he had once led, defeating Najib, a former protege he had accused of corruption.

Stunning victory for Mahathir's party in Malaysian election

(May 10): Mahathir Mohamad won a stunning victory in Malaysia’s election, ending the six-decade rule of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s party in a landmark shift for the Southeast Asian nation.

Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest-serving premier who defected to the opposition to take on Najib, will return to power at the age of 92. His four-party Pakatan Harapan alliance won at least 112 of 222 parliamentary seats in Wednesday’s vote, official figures from the election commission showed.

“We are not seeking revenge,” Mahathir said. “What we want to do is to restore the rule of law.”

Malaysia's election may not be a done deal after all

(May 7): In financial centres around the world, it looks like Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will easily win re-election this week.

“I expect this to be a non-event with Najib coming away with a resounding victory,” said Edwin Gutierrez, the London-based head of emerging-market sovereign debt at Aberdeen Standard Investments, which oversees 575.7 billion pounds ($1.04 trillion) globally. “That is pretty much the overwhelming consensus from the market.”

Explaining 1MDB is BN's bane

(May 4): Barisan Nasional’s (BN) biggest mistake was failing to address the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal when it surfaced, according to former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin.

The government should have just admitted that 1MDB was a big mistake, Daim told Nanyang Siang Pau in a recent interview.

“BN’s biggest problem is to explain 1MDB to urban voters. The rakyat will eventually forgive, but what they can’t forgive is when the government is abusing the law and hides its wrongdoing,” he said.

Mahathir chosen by opposition to run against Najib

(Jan 8): Malaysia’s opposition named Mahathir Mohamad, 92, as candidate for prime minister in an election that must be held by August.

Once Malaysia’s longest serving premier, Mahathir will battle against his own hand-picked heir, Prime Minister Najib Razak, 64. The coalition known as Pakatan Harapan, or Pact of Hope, said at its convention Sunday that Mahathir would remain prime minister until jailed de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, 70, is eligible to take over.

Monsoon season makes Malaysia's election unlikely this year

SINGAPORE (Nov 9): A monsoon-season election in Malaysia could threaten turnout and hurt the credibility of the result, a government minister said, signaling the vote is likely to now be held next year.

Those factors are among large downside risks to having the general election during the monsoon period, Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed said on Tuesday in an interview in Vietnam, where he is attending meetings related to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The rough weather is typically at its worst from November to January.

Jho Low could be seeking safe haven in the Caymans: Malaysiakini

SINGAPORE (Nov 6): A cache of leaked correspondences has revealed that Low Taek Jho, aka Jho Low, fears that allegations against him would result in his extradition back to Malaysia, and is actively looking for a safe haven country to hide out.

See: Malaysia asks Interpol to trace Jho Low in 1MDB scandal probe

Keeping this oil-rich region happy is a challenge for Najib

Prime Minister Najib Razak

(Aug 2): If anyone can break Prime Minister Najib Razak’s stranglehold on Sabah, the Borneo state that holds the key to power in Malaysia, it should be Shafie Apdal.

Shafie’s roots in Sabah run deep. He is the nephew of a former chief minister, and rose from the local branch of Najib’s United Malays National Organisation to become the first national vice president from the state. When Najib dumped him from the cabinet in 2015 amid a dispute over a troubled state fund, Shafie, 59, set up his own party based in Sabah.

Mahathir predicts former ally Najib's downfall in Malaysia vote

(April 12): The six-decade rule of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling coalition may finally be nearing an end, according to Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister.

“We think the sentiment on the ground is so strong that we will get the support of the majority of the people,” Mahathir Mohamad, who left office in 2003, said in an interview in his Putrajaya office Tuesday. Once a staunch Najib ally, the 91-year-old Mahathir has spent the last two years campaigning for his removal amid a steady flow of corruption allegations that the premier has denied.

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