Malaysia’s government harasses opponents as an election looms

Another court date for Lim

“UNDEMOCRATIC”, “gerrymandered” and “fix-up” are good words to describe Malaysian politics, dominated since independence by a single party. So it was a bit rich for the prime minister’s spokesman to employ them when smearing a big opposition group this month. On July 7th the national registrar confirmed that it had detected irregularities in a leadership ballot which the Democratic Action Party (DAP) conducted almost four years ago, and said it would be asking the party to re-run the poll. The DAP’s supporters saw an effort to sow discord among the opposition, ahead of a general election due by next August.

Critics of the United Malays National Organisation, which has led Malaysia’s government for six decades, are used to run-ins with the authorities. Prosecutors have twice brought charges of sodomy against Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the opposition coalition, who began his second jail term in 2015. Lately police have also...

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