By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2018
The 1MDB scandal was a significant factor in ousting the long-reigning UMNO government and reorienting Malaysian foreign policy away from China.
By John Roberts, 5 November 2018
Anwar’s re-entry into parliament will only heighten tensions in the unstable ruling coalition currently headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2018
Prime Minister Mahathir has suspended key Chinese-based infrastructure projects, dealing a significant blow to China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
By Peter Symonds, 5 July 2018
The 1MDB corruption affair is bound up with tensions fuelled by global economic instability and geo-political conflicts, especially between the US and China.
By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2018
The fact that it has taken nearly two months to assemble a full ministry is a sign of the deep, underlying divisions within the five-party ruling coalition.
By John Roberts, 30 May 2018
Mahathir’s cabinet highlights the potential for conflict in the new coalition government.
By John Roberts, 11 May 2018
The ousting of the 61-year UMNO-led government will have ramifications beyond Malaysia.
By John Roberts, 11 April 2018
The government is using every means at its disposal to undermine the opposition and reverse its poor results at the 2013 elections.
By Mike Head, 25 January 2018
The “TPP 11” announcement points to the increasing isolation of the US, and the escalating tensions between the rival capitalist powers.
By John Roberts, 15 January 2018
The “reformasi” opposition’s endorsement of Mahathir as its prime ministerial candidate underscores its utterly opportunist politics.
By John Roberts, 10 December 2016
Despite his appearance of strength at the UMNO assembly, the ground is shifting rapidly under Najib’s feet.
By Peter Symonds, 3 November 2016
During his visit to Beijing, Prime Minister Najib wrote in the state-run media that former colonial powers should not lecture smaller countries over the conduct of their internal affairs.
By John Roberts, 8 August 2016
US authorities are seeking the seizure of assets allegedly stolen from Malaysia’s state-owned investment fund.
By John Roberts, 3 May 2016
The latest development in the 1MDB scandal is a further blow to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s hold on power.
By John Roberts, 1 April 2016
The corruption scandal swirling around Prime Minister Najib Razak points to deep rifts in ruling circles produced by a deteriorating economy and rising geo-political tensions.
By John Roberts, 11 February 2016
The government’s attempt to bury the protracted 1MDB scandal last month has floundered amid damaging new revelations.
By John Roberts, 5 December 2015
A state-owned Chinese corporation has bought the power assets of Malaysia’s heavily indebted 1MDB fund, which is at the centre of a corruption scandal.
By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 28 September 2015
The US Justice Department investigation is a damaging blow to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is facing calls for his resignation.
By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 1 September 2015
Ruling class divisions are fuelled by a deteriorating economy, which has been hard-hit by China’s slowdown, falling commodity prices and regional competition for investment.
By Will Morrow, 8 August 2015
French investigators suggest that the wing-part washed up on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean probably belonged to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
By Will Morrow, 1 August 2015
If the wing-flap is found to belong to MH370, it would be the first piece of evidence that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean.
By John Roberts, 11 July 2015
The Wall Street Journal allegations have fanned a crisis that threatens Najib’s political position and could destabilise the ruling UMNO.
By John Roberts, 30 June 2015
The collapse of the three-party pact changes the political landscape and points to growing instability.
By James Cogan, 20 June 2015
Military deployments are taking place in Asia that would be viewed in China as preparations for a potential provocation.
By John Roberts, 29 May 2015
The special meeting on Indian Ocean refugees today in Bangkok will do nothing to ease the plight of thousands of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis fleeing persecution.
By our correspondent, 29 May 2015
Over 200,000 Burmese Rohingya live in scores of refugee settlements in Bangladesh.
By Thomas Gaist, 16 May 2015
The savage treatment of the Rohingya migrants is an acute manifestation of a growing international refugee crisis comparable in scale and brutality to that produced by World War II.
By John Roberts, 3 April 2015
Ex-Prime Minister Mahathir is bitterly opposed to Najib for signing up to US President Obama’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.
By John Roberts, 17 February 2015
The court dismissed Anwar Ibrahim's claim that he was the victim of a political conspiracy by the government.
By Will Morrow, 7 January 2015
The more information that emerges about the crash, the more it becomes clear that it was not an unforeseeable tragedy.
By Will Morrow, 31 December 2014
The three day search concluded last night with the discovery of debris and the confirmation of the deaths of 162 people on board AirAsia Flight QZ8501.
By Will Morrow, 30 December 2014
While there has been no explanation for what caused the plane to crash, aviation experts have focussed on the severe weather conditions.
By John Roberts, 6 December 2014
While the government will use the Act against its political opponents, it is also part of the police-state measures that will be used against the working class.
By Thomas Gaist, 14 October 2014
Sections of the American media have sought to spin the DSB report as implying that Russian responsibility for the attack had been established.
By John Roberts, 9 October 2014
Anwar Ibrahim faces imprisonment and senior opposition figures have been charged under the notorious 1948 Sedition Act for criticising the government.
By Peter Symonds, 16 September 2014
If US military aircraft do begin to operate from Malaysia, the move would mark a significant shift by Kuala Lumpur toward Washington.
By Peter Symonds, 24 July 2014
The government is desperate to absolve its financially troubled airline of blame and deflect public distrust and anger.
By Alex Lantier, 18 July 2014
Before anyone could determine how this tragedy took place, US politicians and media demanded stepped-up action against Russia.
By Tom Peters, 2 May 2014
The air search has been replaced with an undersea survey in the southern Indian Ocean that is likely to take months.
By Tom Peters, 9 April 2014
The source of the signals detected in the Indian Ocean over the weekend has not been confirmed.
By Alan Leigh, 1 April 2014
Satellite images that appeared to show debris in the southern Indian Ocean have not been verified.
By John Roberts, 29 March 2014
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and other leading figures face jail and fines on trumped-up charges.
By Alan Leigh, 28 March 2014
According to experts, images with much higher clarity would be available from military surveillance satellites.
By Tom Peters, 25 March 2014
Malaysian authorities say analysis of satellite data shows the plane crashed, with no survivors, but no wreckage has been recovered.
By Tom Peters, 22 March 2014
Strategic rivalries and state secrecy continue to mar the search for MH370.
By Tom Peters, 20 March 2014
All the countries involved, including the US, India and Australia, are extremely reluctant to share information that could reveal their military capabilities.
By Peter Symonds, 17 March 2014
More than a week after MH370 disappeared, the questions surrounding its fate are only multiplying.
By Peter Symonds, 15 March 2014
Search operations are now focussed on areas of the Indian Ocean, hundreds of kilometres to the west of MH370’s last known position.
By Peter Symonds, 13 March 2014
The lack of clarity is compounded by the competing interests at stake—including those of Malaysia Airlines, Boeing and the various governments involved.
By Peter Symonds, 11 March 2014
All the sightings of debris and oil slicks have been discounted as having no connection to the vanished aircraft.
By John Roberts, 11 March 2014
The sodomy conviction follows clear support from Washington for Prime Minister Najib’s government.
By Peter Symonds, 10 March 2014
The lack of information has led to speculation about the aircraft’s sudden disappearance, including catastrophic mechanical failure, freak weather conditions and hijacking.
By John Roberts, 15 October 2013
In Kerry’s “model” democracy, UMNO-led coalitions have ruled since 1957, using police-state measures and racially discriminatory policies.
By John Roberts, 21 June 2013
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is cynically seeking to use popular resentment over the election result to pressure the government for a deal.
By John Roberts, 31 May 2013
US support for the government is encouraging the repressive crackdown on the opposition.
By John Roberts, 20 May 2013
If the Malaysian government had been regarded as an obstacle to the US drive against China, the disputed election would have been seized upon for a regime change campaign.
By John Roberts, 9 May 2013
Thousands of opposition supporters took part in yesterday’s protest near Kuala Lumpur, denouncing the election outcome as a fraud.
By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 6 May 2013
Anwar Ibrahim declared yesterday’s national election “fraudulent” and accused the Electoral Commission of complicity.
By John Roberts, 4 May 2013
Tomorrow’s poll is likely to open a new period of political instability.
By John Roberts, 29 April 2013
Whoever wins the May 5 poll, big business has already set the agenda: to impose the burden of the global economic breakdown on working people.
By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 17 April 2013
The Socialist Party of Malaysia is playing a key role for the ruling elites by shackling workers and youth to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the parliamentary framework.
By John Roberts, 4 April 2013
For the first time since Malaysia’s formal independence from Britain in 1957, the ruling UMNO party faces the prospect of losing office.
By John Roberts, 4 March 2013
Xenophon’s exclusion highlights the Malaysian government’s sensitivity in what could be the first close election in decades.
By Joseph Santolan, 2 March 2013
The sultan sent forces to stake his claim to Sabah, a claim that has the longstanding endorsement of the Philippine government.
By John Roberts, 21 December 2012
The election next year is likely to be the closest since formal independence from Britain in 1957.
By John Roberts, 30 May 2012
The politically-motivated charges are aimed at undermining the opposition coalition as the government prepares for a possible early election.
By Dante Pastrana, 4 May 2012
While touted as a more democratic alternative to the Internal Security Act, the new legislation maintains crucial police state powers.
By John Roberts, 3 May 2012
The demonstration points to rising social and political tensions as the global economic crisis impacts on Malaysia.
By John Roberts, 10 January 2012
The High Court decision deals a significant blow to the government’s efforts to jail Anwar as it prepares for elections.
By John Roberts, 8 November 2011
The preparations for an early poll are driven in part by government concerns over the global impact of the economic crises in the eurozone and the United States.
By Will Morrow, 27 July 2011
Labor’s policy will send at least 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia, a country notorious for its mistreatment of refugees.
By John Roberts, 23 July 2011
The fact that the government has whipped up a communist scare campaign reflects deeper fears in Malaysia’s ruling circles of growing social tensions and the potential for unrest.
By John Roberts, 11 July 2011
Despite the limited character of the Bersih coalition’s call for electoral changes, the government was clearly unnerved by the rally.
By John Roberts, 20 May 2011
The court not only ruled that the prosecution had a prima facie case against Anwar, but declared that the evidence of its chief witness was “reliable”.
By John Roberts, 6 May 2011
Any ruling by the judge to acquit Anwar would run counter to the government’s determined campaign to remove the opposition leader from the political scene.
By John Roberts, 29 December 2010
Through Anwar’s suspension the government has regained the two-thirds parliamentary majority needed to change the country’s constitution at will.
By John Roberts, 29 November 2010
Visits to Malaysia by Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates earlier this month amounted to a US endorsement of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO)-led coalition government.
By John Roberts, 26 March 2010
Tacitly backed by the government, Muslim hardliners are continuing to stoke communal tensions over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.
By John Roberts, 9 February 2010
A sodomy conviction would effectively end Anwar’s political career and undermine the opposition, which made significant inroads at the 2008 national election.
By John Roberts, 28 December 2009
The Malaysian government is continuing its prosecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim following a High Court ruling dismissing his application for sodomy charges to be struck down.
By John Roberts, 5 August 2009
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand the repeal of draconian security laws. Police responded with beatings, tear gas, water cannon and mass arrests.
By John Roberts, 24 July 2009
Under intense economic and political pressure, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced measures to reduce the preferences given to ethic Malays.
By John Roberts, 9 June 2009
The Malaysian government carried out a wave of arrests last month in a bid to stem opposition to its ousting of the state government in Perak earlier this year.
By Dante Pastrana, 15 May 2009
In a protracted power struggle in the northern Malaysian state of Perak, the former chief minister this week was reinstalled in power by a court, then removed within a day.
By Dante Pastrana, 2 April 2009
Najib Razak is due to be sworn in tomorrow as Malaysia’s new prime minister following his election as president of the ruling UMNO party. Despite his near unanimous approval, UMNO continues to be wracked by sharp internal tensions.
By John Chan, 5 March 2009
The annual summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok last weekend followed what is becoming a familiar pattern at top-level international gatherings. Amid a sharp downturn in all 10 member states, ASEAN leaders pledged themselves to economic cooperation and free trade, even as they resort to protectionist measures.
By John Roberts, 20 October 2008
After weeks of political infighting, Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced on October 8 that he will not contest the presidency of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) at the party's rescheduled conference next March.
By John Roberts, 30 September 2008
The deadline set by Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to force the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition from office—September 16—has come and gone. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is still in power and the government insists that it will continue to rule. Yet the power struggle shows no signs of ending.
By Wan Ali, 5 September 2008
The Malaysian government has proposed, but is yet to enact, its promise to allow political freedoms for university students through an amendment of the country’s notorious University and University College Act 1971 (AUKU). The amending legislation was sent to the Malaysian parliament in July.
By John Roberts, 28 August 2008
Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the opposition Malaysian Peoples Front (PKR), won a hotly contested by-election for the seat of Permatang Pauh on Tuesday with 67 percent of the vote. The scale of the win in the northern state of Penang will see Anwar back in the national parliament for the first time in a decade and intensify the opposition’s confrontation with the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.
By John Roberts, 18 August 2008
Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of the opposition Malaysian Peoples Front (PKR), nominated on Saturday for the August 26 by-election in the seat of Permatang Pauh, which was made vacant by the resignation of his wife. Anwar is seeking to re-enter parliament despite facing a politically motivated charge of sodomy. His aim is to bring down the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO)-dominated Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government that has held power for 51 years.
By John Roberts, 28 July 2008
Political tensions remain high in Malaysia following the arrest and release of de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of sodomy. The police, backed by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, are pressing ahead with the so-called investigation, while Anwar has launched a political counteroffensive with the declared aim of forming a new government in September.
By John Roberts, 17 July 2008
In what is a sign of political desperation on the part of the Malaysian government, police yesterday arrested leading opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, subjected him to three hours of interrogation, and detained him overnight. The arrest over trumped-up charges of sodomy and its timing are aimed at politically undermining Anwar and the opposition right at the point when the government confronts potential splits in its own ranks and motions of no confidence in parliament.
By John Roberts, 1 July 2008
In the midst of the country’s deepening political turmoil, Malaysian police suddenly announced on Saturday that they were investigating charges of sodomy against de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Saying that he feared an attempt on his life, Anwar, on the advice of his Peoples Justice Party (Keadilan), went straight from a party meeting in Kuala Lumpur to seek refuge in the Turkish Embassy.
By Wan Ali, 17 June 2008
As in other Asian countries, price rises are hitting Malaysia, raising concerns in ruling circles over the potential for social discontent and protests. Inflation, particularly for food and fuel, was a major issue in national elections held in March that resulted in a sharp reversal for the ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition. The government lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time in 34 years.
By John Roberts, 13 May 2008
The new Malaysian parliament was sworn on April 28 after national elections on March 8, which delivered a major blow to the ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition. Unruly scenes during the country’s first ever televised parliamentary session highlight the sharp underlying political tensions that have surfaced as cracks have begun to appear in the regime that has ruled the country since independence in 1957.
By John Roberts, 15 September 2004
In an unexpected ruling on September 2, the Malaysian Federal Court, the nation’s highest judicial body, freed former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim after overturning his conviction on a charge of sodomy. Anwar had already served six years after being convicted on a charge of abuse of power in April 1999. He was about to start serving the nine-year sentence for the sodomy charge, imposed in 2000.
By John Roberts, 29 March 2004
The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition led by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi scored its largest-ever electoral win at the national polls in Malaysia on March 21. BN won 198 of the total of 219 parliamentary seats, up 50 from the 1999 election. Badawi’s own United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the major component of the BN coalition, increased its seats from 71 to 109.
By Peter Symonds, 31 October 2003
Just a fortnight before he was due to retire, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad triggered an international furore over anti-Semitic remarks made to the triennial gathering of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). The episode was symptomatic not just of Mahathir’s racialist outlook but the rising anger in Muslim countries at the murderous actions of Washington and its close ally, Israel.
By John Roberts, 3 October 2003
In a politically-motivated manoeuvre, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last week extended the detention of nine political activists for another two years. They have been held without trial or charge since August 2001 under the country’s notorious Internal Security Act (ISA) on suspicion of terrorism.