POLL | It’s the end of the year, and Malaysiakini again lets its readers decide what they think are the most important news stories of 2017.
A total of 1,614 readers participated in this year’s survey, which ran for seven days.
They voted by entering a score on each of the 19 news items selected by Malaysiakini - from 0 (lowest interest) to 10 (highest).
The No 1 news of 2017 is, yes, again, the civil suit by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) – this time involving the latest court filings by DOJ to seize assets allegedly tied to corruption at Malaysia’s troubled sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
In its new legal action, the DOJ put the allegedly misappropriated figure at US$4.5 billion and is seeking to seize another US$700 million in assets - on top of the US$1 billion it stated last year - purportedly acquired using funds stolen from 1MDB.
DOJ provided a list of the additional assets it is seeking to seize – among others, a superyacht, a slew of million-dollar diamonds and rare artworks.
This is the third year in a row that the scandal linked to 1MDB clinched the No 1 spot. Last year, it was news on the DOJ’s first court filings, and in 2015, it was news of the RM2.6 billion found in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts.
The second spot goes to the sharp hike in the cost of living, partly fuelled by the new tax on goods and services as well as the drop of the ringgit. Again, this is a repeat of the past two years’ results – news on rising costs and the fall of the ringgit took the No 2 spot in 2015 and 2016.
No 3 is news on former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the political maverick who has hogged the limelight over the past four decades, becoming de facto opposition leader when his Bersatu party joined Pakatan Harapan.
The other items on the Top 10 list include the spike in China’s investments, the deadly tahfiz school fire and the VX nerve agent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, brother of North Korea leader.
Here they are - Malaysiakini readers' choice of the top 10 headline-grabbers.
US Department of Justice second suit on 1MDB – tales of diamonds, super yacht and super model.
Price hikes, petrol price increase, GST and the fall of the ringgit, Malay artistes raise concerns over high cost of living.
Bersatu joins Pakatan Harapan, former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad becomes de facto opposition leader, Harapan awaits registration.
China’s investments, especially in East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), possibly MRT3 and HSR; Proton sold to China’s Geely
Court ruling that Najib is not a public officer resulting in Mahathir's malfeasance suit being struck out.
Tahfiz school fire where 21 children and two adults were killed.
Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korea leader, assassinated in KLIA2.
Johor MB graft scandal, blogger Milosuam arrested for allegedly leaking MACC witness statement.
Muslim-only launderette in Johor, hotels' tudung ban for frontline jobs, beer festivals cancelled, RUU355 debate.
MACC probes Sabah’s Watergate, Warisan chief Shafie Apdal arrested; police probe MACC chief on Baligate.
The also ran – news that did not make it into Top 10
‘Bugis pirate’ remark by Mahathir, resulting in tiff with sultans and return of royal awards.
Penang freak storm bringing heaviest rainfall in recorded history, resulting in major floods.
The mysterious disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and four others; Suhakam inquiry.
Biggest data breach in Malaysian history, personal data of millions of Malaysians up for sale.
RCI on Bank Negara’s Forex scandal; Mahathir, Anwar and Nor Mohamed Yakcop implicated.
Chief justice Md Raus Sharif's tenure extended beyond 66 years and six months.
Royals speak out, exert influence on a number of burning issues.
PM Najib Razak goes to Washington, meets US President Donald Trump, and visits China.
Adenan Satem passes away in his third year as Sarawak CM.
Newsmaker of 2017
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