A PKR leader believes there will be a “wave of rejection” towards Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in the next general election.
According to Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, this will be generated by the 1MDB scandal, which has spawned investigations and court actions in various countries.
“Malaysians are obviously ready to make change for their welfare as well as that of the country’s,” added the PKR secretary-general in a media statement.
Saifuddin also cited a TIME magazine report which claimed that Najib was among the five world leaders who are less popular than United States President Donald Trump.
The report had mentioned the 1MDB scandal as well as the RM2.6 billion in the prime minister’s personal account.
“This is really embarrassing for the rakyat. The Malaysian prime minister is known more internationally for financial scandals,” said Saifuddin.
Following the TIME report, Communication and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak noted how the magazine voted Anwar Ibrahim the man-of-the-year and more popular than Dr Mahathir Mohamad but yet Mahathir won the 1999 general election.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin also accused Najib of failing to fulfill his responsibilities since taking over the leadership reins in 2009.
“He doesn’t listen to the rakyat. He can only make promises until the rakyat are burdened with the goods and services tax (GST) and higher cost of living as well as increased price of goods and the ringgit’s slump,” he added.
Saifuddin also mentioned the US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil suits related to 1MDB, where the documents mentioned “Malaysian Official 1” 36 times.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman had confirmed that MO1 was Najib, but argued that since he was not named, the prime minister was not part of the investigation.
The DOJ last year filed civil suits to seize assets in the US that it claimed were purchased using funds siphoned from 1MDB.
It had described MO1 as a senior government official who was previously investigated by Malaysian authorities for receiving US$681 million in his personal bank accounts.
It also claimed that MO1 received US$731 million in total which originated from 1MDB.
Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz and Penang-born billionaire Jho Low were among those named in the DOJ suits.
Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali however had cleared Najib of receiving US$681 million on the grounds that it was a “donation” from the Arab royal family.
Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the matter, and refuted allegations of abusing public funds for personal gain.