Business as Usual for Malaysia Premier Amid Latest Graft Drama

The day U.S. prosecutors alleged massive fraud at a Malaysian state fund, it was business as usual thousands of miles away for Prime Minister Najib Razak. Attending an evening feast for thousands of civil servants, he shook hands and posed for selfies. The next day he showed up at the exhibition of a new sedan by the country’s top carmaker and held a national development planning meeting. He only briefly addressed the U.S. news, saying the Department of Justice action should be allowed to run its course. The message was clear: The premier is focused on matters at home, especially the economy, as he seeks to preserve support among his ruling party’s base of ethnic Malays, many of them in rural areas. One of his pit stops on Thursday was a speech to employees of a government agency that is tasked with helping thousands of smallholder farmers.

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