Najib Razak's purge to save Malaysian premiership in 2015 sowed seeds of Barisan Nasional's fall

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arriving at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's headquarters in Putrajaya last Thursday to answer investigators' questions on SRC International, a former subsidiary of troubled state fund 1MDB. Mr Na
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arriving at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's headquarters in Putrajaya last Thursday to answer investigators' questions on SRC International, a former subsidiary of troubled state fund 1MDB. Mr Najib is accused of receiving RM42 million (S$14.2 million) into his personal accounts that allegedly originated from SRC International.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

His assault on civil service, that had long backed BN, led to departmental purges and divided the organisation

KUALA LUMPUR • In the early hours of July 24, three years ago, embattled then Prime Minister Najib Razak placed an urgent call to his powerful Minister of National Security, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Mr Zahid, who had served as Mr Najib's political secretary in the 1990s, was directed by his boss to track down businessman Rosman Abdullah who, days earlier, had been subjected to hours of interrogation by the country's powerful anti-corruption agency, and place him under full police protection.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 27, 2018, with the headline 'Najib's purge to save premiership in 2015 sowed seeds of BN's fall'. Print Edition | Subscribe