Delay of 1MDB trial allows Najib to rebrand himself

It lets him talk up his innocence but also continues to cast a shadow on integrity of opposition front

Former prime minister Najib Razak being mobbed at a Selangor hypermarket. Apart from attracting crowds, he has been an active government critic on social media.
Former prime minister Najib Razak being mobbed at a Selangor hypermarket. Apart from attracting crowds, he has been an active government critic on social media. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NAJIB RAZAK
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It has been almost a year since Najib Razak was ousted from power by voters angered by corruption claims linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), but the former Malaysian prime minister has yet to be tried for the dozens of criminal charges lined up against him.

While the trial delay - mainly to hear procedural arguments - has allowed him to talk up his innocence and even help his Umno party to victory in two recent by-elections, the delay means the 1MDB scandal will continue to cast its shadow on the integrity of his opposition front.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2019, with the headline Delay of 1MDB trial allows Najib to rebrand himself. Subscribe