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    Sunday, 29 April 2018

    Malaysia’s election campaign kicks off- Mahathir Mohamad VS Najib Razak

    Campaigning for Malaysia’s May 9 general election started officially on Saturday, pitting Prime Minister Najib Razak against his former mentor, Mahathir Mohamad, in a contest marred by claims of sabotage and a skewed electoral system.
    Najib leads his undefeated ruling coalition into arguably its toughest election since independence from Britain in 1957.
    He is grappling with a multi-billion-dollar scandal at a state fund, public anger over living costs and an unprecedented challenge by the 92-year-old Mahathir.
    Mahathir, returning to politics after retiring 15 years ago, will stand in the holiday island of Langkawi. Prime minister for 22 years before stepping down in 2003, Mahathir returned to challenge Najib after a billion-dollar scandal at state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
    Najib will contest from his home state of Pahang. His Barisan Nasional (BN) alliance and the opposition are vying for 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats.
    Mahathir told reporters on Friday he suspected sabotage of a private plane that was to fly him from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi, where he was to file his candidacy on Saturday, after the pilot discovered some damage to the plane just before take-off.
    The opposition and critics say they are also faced with an electoral system that favours the BN coalition, compounded by a redrawing of electoral boundaries that was fast-tracked in parliament in March.
    Other claims, such as discrepancies in the electoral roll, have also been reported. International observers from Indonesia, Thailand, the Maldives, East Timor, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan will monitor the elections.
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    Item Reviewed: Malaysia’s election campaign kicks off- Mahathir Mohamad VS Najib Razak Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Asqamar