Malaysian Justice is a Waiting Game

Malaysia's shambolic judicial system, in which both criminal and civil cases can take years to be decided, is under the spotlight again, this time over a lengthy delay in the spectacular murder trial involving a prominent Malaysian political figure accused of the gruesome murder of his Mongolian mistress. The trial of 46-year-old political analyst Abdul…

Malaysian Murder Gets Stickier for Ruling Party

Questions over the spectacular murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaaribuu came closer to the very top of Malaysian politics Wednesday when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim asked publicly who had ordered two police officers in Malaysia’s elite Special Operations Force to pick her up from the home of political advisor Abdul Razak Baginda. Abdul Razak was…

Update: Political analyst freed on bail in Mongolian Model Murder

A prominent Malaysian political analyst with close ties to one of the country’s top political figures was freed on bail Thursday after posting a 1 million ringgit bond and pleading not guilty to abetting the sensational murder of a Mongolian beauty queen whose baby he allegedly fathered. Abdul Razak Baginda, 46, entered the not guilty…

UPDATE: CHARGED!

Setting the stage for a lurid courtroom drama that is sure to grip a country that officially sees itself as upright and puritanical, one of Malaysia’s most prominent political analysts has been charged with the gruesome slaying of a Mongolian “free lance” fashion model who claimed that he was her lover and the father of…

The Cesspit of Malay Politics

The crisis that is wracking Malaysia’s United Malays National Organisation, the country’s biggest ethnic party, is not the crisis of a sex and murder scandal. Not the crisis of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s heart attack. Not the crisis of infighting between the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – Pak Lah -- camp and his predecessor’s interests.…

Murder and Politics, Malaysia Style

The United Malays National Organisation, Malaysia’s biggest ethnic party, goes into its annual General Assembly on Nov. 13, focused on a sensational investigation involving a murdered Mongolian “freelance model” and her relationship to a top political analyst with close ties to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak. Model Murder Stuns Malaysia Top…

The Abdullah-Mahathir Quagmire Continues

If Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi hoped to pull a nasty political thorn out of his side when he met his sharp-tongued predecessor Mahathir Mohammad on Sunday, he is likely disappointed. For months Mahathir has been twisting the knife into Badawi and he looks set to continue applying the pressure. But while the meeting may…

Malaysia’s Ethnic Reality Under Scrutiny

Malaysia is suddenly confronting the unsettling possibility that at least a thin crust of its ethnic majority population might be a lot better off than everybody thinks.  A report published by a prestigious think tank challenges official affirmative action programs by saying that Malay ownership of public corporate equity is far higher than previously believed. …

A Banking Star’s Inconvenient Singaporean Truth

Investment banks have always been the most outrageous of all the many alley cats in the financial services industry. Nothing must get in the way of profit, least of all telling their investor clients the honest truth about companies and countries.  Text of email attributed to Andy Xie: I participated in the panels on Commodity…

Malaysia’s political money trail

In Malaysia’s squabble for primacy between Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, money politics is playing an increasingly crucial role. The extent to which one well-heeled political faction can weather the other's onslaught until the next leadership election in the United Malays National Organisation, will weigh heavily on ready access to…