Malaysia politics risk 'Game of Thrones' fate

Malaysia politics risk 'Game of Thrones' fate

The youngest brother of embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday warned that his country's political storm may turn into a "Game of Thrones" if left unchecked.

Mr Nazir Razak, who is also chairman of the KL-based universal bank CIMB Group, posted an image referencing the popular fantasy book-turned-TV series, accompanied with the text: "Through this political turmoil, we must preserve & protect the integrity of our institutions or we descend into a game of thrones."

The image he chose featured the HBO hit show's character Eddard Stark, one of the fictional kingdom's leaders, who was put to death early in the series for threatening to expose a royal scandal.

Emblazoned across is a popular quote from the show: "Game of thrones. You win or you die".

Nazir's post on social media garnered hundreds of likes within hours, and came a day after his brother Najib announced a shocking Cabinet reshuffle.

Among those dropped was Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, reported The Star.

Mr Muhyiddin had, just days earlier, been critical of Najib's involvement in the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which is now being investigated amid allegations of wrongdoing with ties to the prime minister himself.

Home Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi replaced Mr Muhyiddin as Deputy Prime Minister and Mr Mahdzir Khalid took over his Education Minister portfolio.

Mr Najib hinted that Mr Muhyiddin's public statements on 1MDB went against the concept of a unified Cabinet.

Four other ministers were also replaced, as well as Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, who was involved in investigations into corruption allegations related to 1MDB.

Mr Muhyiddin told Malaysian media after his exit that he hopes investigations would conclude soon.

Losing trust

Speaking at a packed press conference at his residence in Bukit Damansara, he said the authorities must seek to resolve the matter without delay or risk losing Malaysian people's trust.

"We will see what the authorities are doing (to solve this problem), and we hope that it will be done thoroughly and as soon as possible. If it takes too long, the public will question their credibility," he was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying.

"I am confident that the 1MDB issue will be solved, but it is a big issue. We await the full report."

He added that he would continue assisting his Umno party and its president, Mr Najib.

"I will not participate in any efforts that involves disunity. We will continue to work together with all in Umno and BN. I appreciate the support from Umno members and the public, but we must prioritise the party, the country and the people."

This article was first published on June 30, 2015.
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