KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Malaysian judge on Monday ordered a sodomy trial involving opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to proceed, setting the stage for a lengthy trial that could boost Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government ahead of a possible snap election this year.
Judge Zabidin Mohamad Diah asked Anwar to enter his defense on sodomy allegations which will hurt his reputation among conservative ethnic Malays, damage the opposition’s chances of wresting power and raise questions about the future of his political career.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 (Reuters) – State-run Petronas will
build a $20 billion integrated refinery and petrochemicals
complex, Malaysia’s largest single investment in recent years,
that will boost the country’s total refining capacity by half,
to 935,300 barrels per day (bpd), as it looks to meet Asian
demand for specialty chemicals.
The development in the southern state of Johor bordering
Singapore, to be known as the Refinery and Petrochemicals
Integrated Development (RAPID), is expected to be commissioned
by the end of 2016. It will put Malaysia on track to vie with
Asian oil hub Singapore, which has a refining capacity of about
1.3 million bpd.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Malaysian state’s move to send 57 schoolboys with “effeminate tendencies” to a boot camp aimed at counselling them on masculine behaviour has angered rights groups in the Southeast Asian country.
The four-day camp, which ended on Thursday, included religious lectures, visiting local mosques and aerobics workouts.
A hit Malaysian Islamic reality TV show kicked off its second season this week after drawing more than 1,000 hopefuls from the region in a sign of the religion’s growing reach in Southeast Asia. Combining a reality TV format with Islamic teachings, the “Imam Muda” or “Young Imam” show is a talent contest for male Muslims aged between 18 and 27 who can speak Malay, with the winner crowned an Imam or religious leader.
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, April 19 (Reuters) – Malaysia announced
$3.7 billion in investments on Tuesday, hoping to jumpstart
foreign interest in its economy even as other Asian countries
try to stem speculative inflows in search of higher-yielding
Prime Minister Najib Razak unveiled 12 small and mid-sized
electronics, oil and gas and infrastructure projects as part of
a target to attract $444 billion of investments to become a
developed economy by 2020.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s ruling
coalition lost significant ground in its stronghold of Sarawak
in weekend state assembly elections, setting the stage for a
shift in government and economic policy as Prime Minister Najib
Razak works to regain support.
The government recorded its worst performance in 24 years in
the poll in a result analysts say reflects the mood across the
country, which could prompt Najib to switch tack in his plan to
recapture the ethnic minority vote and restructure the economy
to catch up with Asian neighbours.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister
Najib Razak will likely put key economic reforms on ice as he
tries to rebuild voter support after his ruling coalition
recorded its worst performance in 24 years in a local election
in a key stronghold.
Bets are largely off for a snap general election to take
place this year, with Najib expected to rethink his strategy of
promoting inclusive growth in the Muslim-majority multi-cultural
nation to win back the minority vote, analysts said.
KUCHING, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysia’s ruling coalition won the Sarawak election on Saturday but saw its grip on its bastion state sharply weakened, reducing the odds of snap polls for Prime Minister Najib Razak to fast track economic reforms demanded by investors.
The ruling coalition won 55 of 71 seats to retain its two-thirds majority but the opposition had 15 seats for its best showing in 24 years after campaigning on a platform of Christian anger against the government and frustration over the rule of the state’s long-serving chief minister.
KUCHING, Malaysia, April 15 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s
government will likely retain control of a key state which heads
to the polls on Saturday but significant opposition gains in the
ruling coalition’s bastion could delay Prime Minister Najib
Razak’s pursuit of economic reform.
The Sarawak poll will provide a reading of public support
for the coalition as Najib considers calling a snap general
election to consolidate his grip on power and overhaul
Malaysia’s economy to attract investors.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister
Najib Razak faces a key test when the country’s largest state
heads to the polls on Saturday, with its outcome likely to
trigger snap general elections. [ID:nL3E7FC01W]
A strong win in Sarawak would place Najib on track to a
solid general election mandate that could provide him with fresh
impetus to execute economic reforms held back by populist
pressure. The following are questions and answers on the
implications of the state election.