KL poll 'a lesson' to NCPO

KL poll 'a lesson' to NCPO

Corruption could defeat military party

Mahathir Mohamad holds up the letter to the king that made him prime minister of Malaysia again. On the left is Azizah Wan Ismail, political ally and wife of jailed Anwar Ibrahim, who likely will be prime minister before the end of the year. (EPA photo)
Mahathir Mohamad holds up the letter to the king that made him prime minister of Malaysia again. On the left is Azizah Wan Ismail, political ally and wife of jailed Anwar Ibrahim, who likely will be prime minister before the end of the year. (EPA photo)

The Malaysian electorate's vote to install opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister for a second time, in which the 92-year-old defeated his protege-turned-rival Najib Razak, should serve as both a lesson and a warning for the Thai military regime, academics and politicians say.

Chulalongkorn University political scientist Surachart Bamrungsuk said all parties in Thailand, including the National Council for Peace and Order, should take note that a corrupt and inefficient administration can be held to account come election time, even when the odds appear to be stacked in its favour -- as was the case in Malaysia where Mr Najib led the opinion polls in the run-up to the vote.

"Corruption is a big issue that comes up whenever people think about outgoing prime minister Najib. And while the Malaysian government has in the past been seen as very efficient, complaints have surfaced recently about how inefficient it has become," Mr Surachart said.

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