News analysis

1MDB fallout reveals how charities are used as fronts for political funding

1MDB had its own foundation entrusted with RM100 million.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Stunning revelations in 2015 that RM2.6 billion (S$838.5 million) of public funds was funnelled into then premier Najib Razak's personal account remain the highlight of the 1MDB scandal, but the fall of his Umno-led Barisan Nasional administration three years later pried open the lid on how taxpayers' money has been abused for political financing via dubious foundations.

Criminal cases and forfeiture suits since the change of government have revealed how public monies have been received by these "yayasans" - as they are known in Malay - controlled by those in power, as well as private donations in exchange for political favours.

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