‘Grafter’ whips his party up

The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD - Kuala Lumpur

– Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak put his party on a war foot­ing yes­ter­day as polls loom, vow­ing to “fight till the end” de­spite a mas­sive fi­nan­cial scan­dal that has rocked his gov­ern­ment.

The leader told the an­nual as­sem­bly of his United Malays Na­tional Or­gan­i­sa­tion – which has ruled Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity Malaysia for six decades at the head of a coali­tion – that the coun­try was fac­ing a “cru­cial elec­tion”.

“In this battle we fight till the end, in this elec­tion we will emerge vic­to­ri­ous,” he told thou­sands of cheer­ing del­e­gates.

Na­jib did not hint at a date in his speech but spec­u­la­tion is swirling that they will take place early next year.

Na­jib’s chances of win­ning a third term have been dented by ex­plo­sive graft al­le­ga­tions. Bil­lions were looted from the 1MDB sov­er­eign wealth fund that he founded in com­plex over­seas deals, which are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated in sev­eral coun­tries.

Both Na­jib and the fund deny any wrong­do­ing.

The US jus­tice de­part­ment has led the charge in tack­ling the al­leged pil­lag­ing, launching law­suits to re­cover $1.7 bil­lion (R23 bil­lion) in as­sets. – AFP

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