From The Australian News...
Malaysia deputy Najib Razak 'unfit to govern'
A FORMER minister in Malaysia's ruling UMNO party has questioned the suitability of Najib Razak to take over the prime ministership because of his alleged links to corruption scandals and a murder case.
Radio Australia reported yesterday that Zaid Ibrahim, a former law minister in Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's Government told a Rotary lunch in Kuala Lumpur that Mr Najib, the current deputy, was unfit for the national leadership.
Mr Zaid singled out charges of cronyism over the award of military contracts, a recent power grab in Perak state and alleged links to the murder of Mongolian model, Altantuya Shariibuu, who was the lover of a close associate of Mr Najib at the time of her death.
The speech caused a sensation. "This is really the high noon of Malaysian politics, you could say," Razali Ibrahim, the head of UMNO's Johor youth wing, told Radio Australia.
"By going public, by making that speech, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim you may say pulled the pin on the doomsday machine of Malaysian politics."
Opposition politician Gobind Singh was last week banned from parliament for a year after he used the house to call Mr Najib, the Deputy Prime Minister, a murderer.
The Sunday Times of London reported that Shariibuu, 28, was shot and then blown up with explosives in 2006 to silence her demands for a share in an arms deal involving three submarines that were sold to the Malaysian government.
Two of Mr Najib's bodyguards have been tried in connection with the murder and are awaiting a verdict.
Mr Najib has strongly denied any involvement.
Delegates to UNMO's annual meeting are today expected to anoint Mr Najib as the new UMNO president, and cast their votes for key roles including deputy president and heads of the youth and women's wings.
In a speech to the UNMO assembly late on Tuesday, Mr Najib warned the ruling party it must embark on a radical overhaul to win back public support, or face the end of its half-century grip on power.
"What is at stake is nothing less than the very fate of UMNO," he said.
Mr Najib is expected to succeed Mr Badawi shortly after UNMO's five-day assembly concludes this week.
Lim Kit Siang, a leader of the opposition Democratic Action Party, said Mr Najib's legitimacy was at stake.
"For the first time in the country's history, no one who is going to become the prime minister has been caught with so many questions and inquiries, and this is something that has to be addressed and creates serious problems of a crisis of confidence," he said.