On July 2, 2015, Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal published damaging reports, accusing Najib of siphoning 1MDB money. They published allegations of Najib wiring the stash to his own private banking account in Malaysia.
Malaysia fired its Attorney General under cover of a supposed illness, a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief went missing. He was found dead. It was murder.
Mahathir made a surprise appearance at the Bersih rally. The demonstrators demanded Najib’s resignation as PM over a multi-million-dollar payment into his personal account at the AmBank.
MAHATHIR SETS THE STAGE
In early 2016, former PM Mahathir resigned from Umno. He said it was because of Umno’s support for the actions of PM Najib. He cited the RM2.6 billion found stashed in Najib’s account and the 1MDB issues for leaving the party. This was the second time he left Umno in a decade.
He said the party under Najib was no more the party that founded on May 11, 1946. His wife joined him in leaving the party.
In that year, the nonagenarian shocked Malaysians when he met Anwar Ibrahim in court on September 5.
The two buried the hatchet after almost 20 years of a tussle that brought Anwar down in 1998.
2017: KIM JONG NAM’S ASSASSINATION
Another shocker in Malaysia came in 2017 with the assassination of Kim Jong-un’s brother at the KLIA. Kim Jong-Nam was at the airport to catch a flight when two women smudged his face with a substance. Prosecutors later said the substance was a nerve gas that killed the North Korean man.
This event distracted the public away from Najib’s woes but Dr Mahathir was working the political ropes. After affiliating his newly formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia with the opposition Pakatan Harapan, Dr M was setting the stage for his return as Prime Minister.
Anwar was still in jail and no other leader in the Pakatan Harapan could beat Mahathir in this role.
The astute and cunning political animal threatened to quit the opposition coalition. This forced the PH to concede to his role as the future PM.
2018: NAJIB AND BN DEFEATED
The May 2018 elections became a landmark event in Malaysia with the shock defeat of the BN. Mahathir had done it, he brought down his former protege and regained the post of PM in a historic victory.
The joy spread throughout Malaysia with the internet exploding in the face of Najib. The defeated leader of a regime that ran the country for 61 years.
For days, the people in Malaysia rallied behind Dr Mahathir, hailing his comeback a historic moment in the country.
Rumours of Najib trying to flee the country went viral online. A mob gathered at the Subang Airport where Najib and Rosmah did not turn up for a flight to Jakarta. The immigration then barred Najib and his wife from leaving the country.
Shortly after, Anwar was pardoned by the reigning King Muhammad V of Kelantan. The King later resigned after a sordid secret wedding with a Russian beauty queen followed by even more secretive divorce of the woman.
Rihana Oksana Veovodina claims the child is the son of the Malaysian ex-King. She is asking for a DNA test to prove it.
Upon learning of the claims of alimony from his ex-spouse, the Kelantan Sultan reportedly said,
“Who does she think I am… Bill Gates?”
Najib was briefly arrested by the MACC and jailed for a few hours pending his bailout.
The Pakatan government appointed a new Attorney General. Tommy Thomas will become the frontman in the hunt for the 1MDB funds.
But what started well for the PH and was crowned with Anwar Ibrahim’s big win at the Port Dickson by-elections, quickly turned into a bad year for them.
Scuffle at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Subang Jaya caused one death. And the opposition rallied in unison against rumours the Malaysian government will sign a controversial ICERD accord.
The rally led to the Islamists from the PAS joining forces with the Umno that will later give birth to a coalition against the PH.
2019: NAJIB TAKES THE STAND
Never seen before in Malaysia, a former PM takes the stand to defend his role in the 1MDB-SRC scandal. In 2019, the prosecution team opened the 1MDB case after it proceeded with the SRC International case in august 2019.
The former PM said he was shocked at the money found in his account. He also said he was shocked that he had to enter his defence in the SRC International case. He thought the judge would let him go free.
Najib said he had no knowledge and never questioned the funds being paid into his accounts until it became an issue.
He said he was never in direct contact with the person mandated to manage his accounts, former CEO of SRC International, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.
The ex-Premier also defended spending millions of public money to buy gifts for guests and for buying a ring worth half a million ringgit for his wife Rosmah Mansor.
GAY SEX VIDEOS
The end of the decade is also tumultuous Anwar Ibrahim and the PKR. A gay sex video rocks Malaysia in June right in the middle of the Hari Raya celebrations.
A member of the party from Sarawak, Haziq accuses the powerful Economic Affairs Minister of involvement in the video. He says Azmin Ali is the other man in bed with him in the video. Azmin published a response days after the videos went viral.
This cleared his name in the eyes of the government. He is a close collaborator of Dr Mahathir in the PH government.
The case has a different outcome from the 1998 Anwar sodomy saga. In that year, Anwar got heavy sentencing. Azmin did not get a similar treatment while the Pakatan says the time has changed and the accused is free until proven guilty.
The video saga, however, had its toll on Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat which seems irremediably split after Anwar started to stake his claim to the number one post in the country.
Sources say the entire video saga and the split in the PKR is part of a game plan to prevent Anwar from becoming the next PM of Malaysia.
In 2019, the Pakatan Harapan got trounced at a by-election in Johor. The Tanjung Piai election became the ‘waterloo’ for the Mahathir run government. The Umno-led Barisan Nasional beat the Pakatan candidate with the support of the Islamists. However, it is the shift in the tide among the Chinese community in Johor that contributed to the heavy defeat. To date, it is Dr Mahathir’s biggest by-election defeat as a leader of a ruling coalition.