Najib faces trust test

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak attends the Khazanah Megatrends Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this Oct 6, 2015 file photograph.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak attends the Khazanah Megatrends Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this Oct 6, 2015 file photograph. PHOTO: REUTERS

Opposition MP files motion against Malaysian PM

KUALA LUMPUR • A Malaysian opposition lawmaker has submitted notice for a motion of no confidence against embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak for Parliament tomorrow, adding to the pressure building up on him over a graft scandal.

Mr Hee Loy Sian, a lawmaker in opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat, submitted the motion, citing Datuk Seri Najib's alleged failure to adequately explain a report in July that said investigators were looking into troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and had found close to US$700 million (S$967 million) deposited in his personal bank account.

"Najib has affected the country's image in the world and caused investors to lose confidence in the government to the extent that the economy turns unstable, with the stock market diving badly and the ringgit depreciating against the US dollar," Mr Hee's motion reads.

Mr Najib has denied taking any money for personal gain, while the South-east Asian nation's anti-corruption commission said the funds were a political donation from the Middle East.

Mr Hee's motion is unlikely to succeed as the opposition is about 25 seats short of a majority. The motion is listed as the third item from the bottom of a list of 28 motions for tomorrow, raising the chance that there may be not enough time to hear it.

Meanwhile, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) supporters packed Kelantan's biggest football stadium to maximum capacity yesterday in a massive rally that was the first showcase of the Islamist party's strength since its exit from opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat and the exit of a "progressive" faction, which went on to form Parti Amanah Negara.

PAS party said it was able to achieve its target attendance of 60,000 people at the rally, which transformed the Sultan Muhammad IV stadium in Kota Baru into a sea of green T-shirts, reported the Malay Mail Online.

The gathering in the PAS-led state was seen as the party's reassertion of its identity as a Malay-Muslim party that is prepared to go it alone in the next general election, sticking to its guns on issues such as the implementation of hudud law in Kelantan - one of the ideological differences that led to the fracturing of the Pakatan Rakyat alliance.

It was also PAS' first major rally since the split in the party that led to the formation of Parti Amanah Negara.

The rally took place in the wake of Amanah recruiting some 50,000 members, 12,000 of whom are from Kelantan and the majority of whom are former PAS members.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2015, with the headline 'Najib faces trust test'. Print Edition | Subscribe