A defeat for Najib Razak and his party would almost certainly expose what has until now remained undercover on 1MDB, said Finews.asia.
The portal said such a prospect has spooked the Malaysian PM and the ruling party the Barisan Nasional (BN).
“The PM and his ruling party appear spooked by the close race. Electoral officials are attempting to rush through changes to voting maps, which are expected to bolster Najib’s standing,” said Finews.
It said the embattled Malaysian leader who is facing snap elections in coming months with the billion-dollar graft scandal surrounding state fund 1MDB threatening to resurface.
While Singapore has shut the book on 1MDB, a scandal which shut down two banks and led to charges against private bankers over money-laundering and other crimes, Switzerland is still in the midst of conducting criminal proceedings as part of a six-country probe led by American prosecutors.
Malaysia has simply buried the 1MDB scandal under the carpet while its court has sentenced an MP-whistleblower Rafizi Ramli to 30 months jail on the eve of the 14th general elections (GE14).
The U.S. alleges that $4.5 billion was pilfered from 1MDB and used for everything from luxury real estate to a diamond necklace for first lady Rosmah Mansor – or «kleptocracy at its worst,» as U.S. prosecutor Jeff Sessions called it in December.
While Najib expected the 1MDB issue to die out despite the former Umno strongman Mahathir Mohamad’s focus remains the matter of the billions of dollar that are either missing or were misused by people close to the state fund, the scandal is still pretty much alive.
“Najib enjoys wide popularity, in part because the Malaysian opposition is in such pitiful shape that is has been forced to enlist the former PM – Mahathir Mohamad.
“Mahathir is no silver bullet: at 92, he was forced to pledge to serve no longer than two years if elected, and he is hobbled with his own scandal over foreign exchange losses in the 1990’s,” said the portal.