Kini Roundup

Not easy being PM, says Najib; Malaysia drops in corruption ranking

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KINI ROUNDUP | Here are the key headlines you may have missed yesterday, in brief.

Not easy being PM, says Najib

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said his job was fraught with decisions that are tough, but which needed to be made.

Najib also urged Malaysians not to take things for granted, including parents and spouses.

Speaking at a live Budget 2018 sharing session, Najib also did not miss the chance to take a veiled jab at his biggest critic, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying his predecessor was a "great believer" in tolls.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng roasted Najib for telling the session that he has switched from eating rice to quinoa, saying that the prime minister was "out of touch" with the plight of ordinary Malaysians.

A Star Online report said that the Election Commission has booked every available private hire aircraft for the months of April and May in Sabah, raising the speculation that the 14th general election could be called then.

Malaysia drops in corruption ranking

Malaysia recorded its lowest ever ranking on Transparency International Malaysia's Corruption Perception Index for last year, on par with Cuba, ranking 62 out of 180 countries.

MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad said he was "shocked" by the index, as he expected better placement with MACC's crackdown, rather than a slip of seven spots from 2016.

Dzulkifli said MACC plans to create a "more effective" special corruption index to analyse and measure the graft level in the country.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low said MACC's "aggressiveness" in pursuing several high-profile arrests last year could have created a negative perception of the body, thus contributing to the drop in ranking.

Electoral watchdog Bersih said MACC should be given the power to prosecute, instead of just investigating corruption, in light of the drop in ranking.

Other Kinibites

Controversial rapper Namewee has been arrested by the police in connection with his "Like a Dog" video.

The Court of Appeal acquitted activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim of giving a seditious speech at a rally in Kuala Lumpur, a week after the 13th general election in 2013.

Prominent academician Wan Saiful Wan Jan left the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), which he co-founded, and is speculated to join Bersatu and contest in the 14th general election.

Responding to Selangor BN's promise of free plastic bags should it regain the state in GE14, Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad likened the coalition to "plastic bags" which accumulate rubbish and Harapan to "reusable bags" which are good for the future.

Bersatu filed an originating summons in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur against the Registrar of Societies (ROS), claiming that ROS neglected its duty and responsibilities in dealing with complaints brought against the party.

Looking ahead

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang will hold a press conference at the party's Penang headquarters on Jalan Rangoon.