• Malaysia power struggle set to drag on as king recuperates in hospital
    KUALA LUMPUR, September 25 (Reuters): Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah will not be granting an audience to anyone for a week as he is under observation at a hospital, a palace official said on Friday, as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim seeks a meeting with him to form a new government. Anwar said this week he has secured a "strong, formidable" majority from lawmakers in parliament to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. But he has to convince the king that he has
  • Malaysian PM banks on victory in Borneo poll after Anwar challenge
    KUALA LUMPUR, September 24 (Reuters): Locked in a power struggle with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin needs a solid victory in a state election on the island of Borneo on Saturday to stop support within his coalition parties melting away, analysts say. Anwar ignited political fireworks on Wednesday with the bold claim that he had the backing of nearly two-thirds of the 222 lawmakers in Malaysia's parliament and would be asking the
  • Malaysia opposition leader Anwar claims 'formidable' majority to form new govt
    KUALA LUMPUR, September 23 (Reuters): Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday he has secured a 'formidable' majority from lawmakers to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and form a new government, heralding a fresh bout of political drama in the Southeast Asian country. The power struggle comes at a difficult time for the multi-ethnic nation, as its export driven economy has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The Malaysian ringgit and
  • New youth party hopes to 'unshackle' Malaysia from old politics
    KUALA LUMPUR, September 3 (Reuters): One of Malaysia's youngest lawmakers will start a youth-based party this month with the hope of changing a political landscape long dominated by "old hands" and money politics. Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, 27, said the yet-to-be-named party would seek equal representation for women and young people in parliament and do away with a patronage system that critics say has blunted the Southeast Asian country's competitiveness.
  • 'What's to be ashamed of': Malaysia's Najib back on the stump despite guilty verdict
    SLIM, Malaysia, August 24 (Reuters): Convicted of corruption less than a month ago and sentenced to 12 years in jail, former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was back campaigning for a party candidate over the weekend in a by-election for a state assembly seat. Out on bail, Najib is waiting for his appeal date to be set, while standing accused in two other trials and waiting for two more to begin - mostly linked to the looting of billions of dollars from defunct sovereign f
  • Back from the dead? Stem cells give hope for revival of Malaysia's extinct rhinos
    KUANTAN, Malaysia, August 12 (Reuters): Some skin, eggs and tissue samples are all that remain of Malaysia's last rhino, Iman, who died last November after years of failed breeding attempts. Now scientists are pinning their hopes on experimental stem cell technology to bring back the Malaysian variant of the Sumatran rhinoceros, making use of cells from Iman and two other dead rhinos. "I'm very confident," molecular biologist Muhammad Lokman Md Isa told Reu
  • Malaysia's former finance minister charged with corruption
    KUALA LUMPUR, August 7 (Reuters): Malaysia on Friday charged former finance minister and senior opposition leader Lim Guan Eng with corruption for seeking a bribe on a $1.5 billion infrastructure project. Lim said the charge was "politically motivated". The charge against Lim, who was minister in the Mahathir Mohamad-led coalition that collapsed in February, comes amid speculation that elections could be imminent due to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's slim ma
  • Malaysia arrests ex-finance minister on corruption charges
    KUALA LUMPUR, August 6 (Reuters) - Malaysia's former finance minister Lim Guan Eng was arrested on Thursday in connection with corruption allegations over a $1.5 billion undersea tunnel project, state news agency Bernama reported. Lim, a senior opposition leader, will be charged in court on Friday, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said in a statement, although it did not immediately comment on the arrest. His arrest follows a months-long investigation into graft alleg
  • Malaysia's ruling coalition stumbles as key ally quits political pact
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 (Reuters): The biggest party in Malaysia's ruling coalition on Thursday said it will withdraw from a political alliance with the prime minister but will continue to support the government, potentially undermining the stability of his administration. The move by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party comes two days after former premier Najib Razak, a party leader, was sentenced to 12 years in jail for corruption in a case linked to the mul
  • Reactions to guilty verdict of Malaysia's ex-PM Najib
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Reuters): A Malaysian court sentenced former premier Najib Razak to 12 years in prison and fined him 210 million ringgit ($49.40 million) after finding him guilty of all seven charges in his first case over the 1MDB scandal, drawing jubilation from critics and introspection among allies and supporters. The High Court judge said the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Najib was guilty of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of po
  • Malaysia's Najib sentenced to over a decade in jail in first 1MDB graft trial
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Reuters): Malaysia's former leader Najib Razak was found guilty of corruption and sentenced on Tuesday to 12 years in jail in the first trial over a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB that stretched to the Gulf states and Hollywood. In a case widely seen as a test of the southeast Asian nation's resolve to stamp out corruption and which could have big political implications, high court judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali sentenced Najib t
  • Twenty-four Rohingya feared drowned off Malaysian resort island
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 (Reuters): Malaysian authorities launched a search on Sunday for 24 Rohingya refugees who went missing while trying to swim to shore from a boat off the resort island of Langkawi. Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya Muslims seeking a better life after escaping a 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar and, more recently, refugee camps in Bangladesh. Malaysia's coastguard said 25 people had tried to swim to shore lat
  • Malaysia faces crucial graft test as Najib’s first 1MDB verdict looms
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 (Reuters): Malaysian former prime minister Najib Razak, fighting dozens of charges over a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at state fund 1MDB, faces his first verdict on Tuesday in a landmark case that tests the country's efforts to stamp out corruption and could have big political implications. Najib was voted out in a historic 2018 election amid public anger over allegations that $4.5 billion was stolen in a globe-spanning scheme from 1Malaysia Dev
  • Malaysia opposition warns of 'chilling effect' of applying old law to social media
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 (Reuters): A decades-old Malaysian law requiring video or film productions to be licensed before being broadcast extends also to social media, a minister said on Thursday, sparking opposition outcry over its implications for freedom of expression. Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told parliament that licenses were needed "regardless of whether they are mainstream media agencies or personal media that broadcast films on social
  • Malaysian court orders ex-PM Najib to pay $400 million tax bill
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 (Reuters): A Malaysian court on Wednesday ordered former Prime Minister Najib Razak to settle 1.69 billion ringgit ($397.41 million) in unpaid taxes over seven years while he was still in office, according to a report by national newswire Bernama. Defeated in the 2018 general election amid widespread outrage over allegedly rampant graft in his government, Najib is facing multiple charges of corruption and abuse of power linked to billions of dollars M
  • Malaysia's opposition gearing up for snap polls, says potential PM candidate
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 (Reuters): Malaysia's opposition is preparing for early elections after a crucial vote in the lower house this week showed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin may lack a parliamentary majority, said Mohd Shafie Apdal, a potential rival for the premiership.   Muhyiddin on Monday succeeded in his bid to replace the speaker of parliament's lower house by a margin of two votes. But he fell one vote short of a simple majority with only half of the 2
  • Malaysia's Mahathir backs new candidate for prime minister
    KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 (Reuters): Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has thrown his support behind the chief minister of the Borneon state of Sabah as candidate to lead the country, a statement from Mahathir said on Saturday.   Mahathir said supporters and allies had unanimously agreed at a meeting on Thursday to nominate Shafie Apdal, among the early leaders who opposed the government of Najib Razak which Mahathir ousted in 2018, as next prime ministe
  • Malaysia can't take any more Rohingya refugees, PM says
    KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Reuters): Malaysia can no longer take in Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday, citing a struggling economy and dwindling resources as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.   Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya seeking a better life after fleeing a 2017 military-led crackdown in Myanmar and refugee camps in Bangladesh.   But Malaysia, which does
  • Rohingya refugees tell Malaysia how dozens perished during four-month voyage
    KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Reuters): Survivors from a boat crammed with over 300 Rohingya Muslim refugees told Malaysian authorities that dozens of their people perished and their bodies were thrown in the sea during a tortuous four-month voyage.   The head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) described the ordeal suffered by Rohingya whose damaged boat had made land on the Malaysian island of Langkawi on June 8, with 269 people aboard.   More than
  • Traffickers demand ransoms for Rohingyas held at sea in SE Asia
    DHAKA, June 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Rohingya refugees attempting to reach Malaysia by boat from Bangladesh are being held hostage by human traffickers who have demanded large ransoms from their relatives with threats of violence, according to several families and aid organisations.   About a dozen Rohingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh told the Thomson Reuters Foundation they had received phone calls from traffickers demanding money to stop relatives from b