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APRIL 3, 2009

The government changes

Formula 1 pays little attention to the world around it but in Malaysia on Friday the country swore in a new Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who replaces Abdullah Ahmed Badawi who resigned on Thursday. Badawi won a second term in the elections in March last year but had a reduced majority. He faced calls from his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resign and opposition to him grew within the ruling UMNO party. In September he promised to step down in March 2009 and said he would hand over power to his deputy Razak, who is the son of the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Raz, who held office between 1970 and 1976.

The move is expected to cement the future of the Malaysian GP. Najib is seen as a return to the policies championed by Mahathir.