ASSESSMENTS

Malaysia's Prime Minister Is Secure, For Now

MIN READMay 12, 2016 | 09:20 GMT

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) and his ruling coalition still face a financial scandal that will prolong political uncertainty at least until the next general elections.

(MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Malaysia's ruling coalition won a landslide victory in Sarawak state elections last weekend in a show of Prime Minister Najib Razak's enduring strength, despite a steadily intensifying corruption scandal. The election -- Malaysia's only one this year -- highlights several of the factors keeping Najib in power, the most important of which are Barisan Nasional's ability to turn on the patronage taps in exchange for support and the opposition's continued disarray. Yet the results of the Sarawak vote understate the nationwide challenges facing Barisan Nasional. Moreover, the scandal regarding Najib's role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign wealth fund has entered a critical phase. Along with Malaysia's broader economic woes, the financial scandal will prolong political uncertainty until at least the next general elections....

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