Tide turns against PM who has been mired in scandal as support surges for country’s former leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad

The Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, is facing a fight for his political survival when the country goes to the polls this week, after his strong lead over rival Dr Mahathir Mohamad narrowed sharply.

Najib, who has been in power since 2009, was initially thought to be guaranteed an easy win in Wednesday’s elections. But in the past few weeks the tide has turned against him, even in the rural Malay heartlands that have long been strongholds for the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN).

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