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Mahathir's Minefield?

Mahathir's Minefield?

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak had good reason to pull out all the stops in his bid to skew last weekend’s election in his favor. While in power, he was able to squelch efforts to probe his alleged involvement with a multi-billion dollar corruption scheme. But now that he’s out of power, he’s in big trouble.


Malaysia’s old-but-new-but-pretty-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who led the opposition to victory last Sunday, has banned Najib and his wife from leaving the country, fired the country’s attorney general, and accepted the resignation of the chairman of its anti-corruption commission. Mahathir, who ran Malaysia with a notoriously strong hand from 1981 to 2003, has pledged to hold Najib to account.

But if Najib’s plight mirrors those of other democratic leaders whose fall from power has meant a reckoning with justice — South Africa’s Jacob Zuma comes to mind — Mahathir’s pledge to clean things up raises a question common to all new leaders who plan anti-corruption drives: Corruption on this scale isn’t possible without the cooperation, active or passive, of other powerful officials and legions of bureaucrats — but how do you root out graft without crippling or alienating precisely the officials and institutions whose support you need in order to govern effectively?

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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