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Malaysia’s Parliament sits for final session ahead of expected dissolution

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Malaysia’s Parliament sits for final session ahead of expected dissolution

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Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris

Malaysia’s parliament will likely sit for the last time today, as Prime Minister Najib Razak prepares to dissolve the body tomorrow, paving the way for a general election in the coming weeks.

Although the country’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition has held power since 1957, allegations of embezzlement from the 1MDB fund have continued to plague Najib. Last month the opposition released a radical election manifesto that aims to level an allegedly unfair electoral playing field.

Facing perhaps the toughest vote yet, Najib has promised large salary hikes to civil servants and recently introduced a plan to redraw electoral maps in his party’s favour. The proposal, which was passed by parliament and now awaits royal approval, has been met with protest from the opposition.

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While once a fairly contested election, Najib seems to have again shifted the odds in his coalition’s favour. However, using such unfair tactics for a prolonged amount of time is risky. Expect voters’ frustration with the system to escalate further, forcing even tougher elections in the future.

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