Malaysia’s sordid politics

The World

Outside this polling student, a crowd chants for Ibrahim, who is running of a platform of reform. His followers say the country is ready for change. Ibrahim wants to be Malaysia’s next prime minister and bring down the ruling coalition which he used to be a part of. Back in March, the coalition suffered a huge setback in national elections and now has a much reduced majority. With Ibrahim in power, MPs may be willing to jump ship, so political tensions have been running high. Dozens of riot police stand guard outside polling places to keep the rival camps separated. As the local boy made good, Ibrahim was expected to ace this election, but what lies ahead remains uncertain. Ibrahim says the charges of sodomy against him are false and his supporters have produced a medical report which contradict allegations of sodomy. If convicted, he could face jail time again. The allegations against Ibrahim aren’t the only dirt being dished in this election, and the Deputy Prime Minister has been linked to a sensational murder. This election has shown that voters want a new government. Malaysia’s political drama has consequences for its neighbors, as a distracted Malaysia will pay less attention to Burma.

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