Sea Change in Southeast Asia

It will be months before a verdict is reached in the corruption case brought against ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is accused of siphoning money from a former unit of the state-owned 1MDB development fund. (He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.) But his arrest this week is more significant than many people outside the region may realize. It’s the first sign of something that modern Southeast Asia has till now lacked — accountability for the region’s top leaders.

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