Malaysia's prime minister appeals for strong mandate

Malaysia's prime minister has unveiled a lavish manifesto with cash benefits targeting rural ethnic Malays, his key voting bloc, as he appealed to voters to give his long-ruling coalition a strong mandate.

Prime Ministers Najib Razak is under pressure to improve his coalition's performance after support eroded in the last two elections. He has been dogged by a massive corruption scandal involving the 1MDB state fund, which is under investigation in the U.S. and other countries for allegations of cross-border embezzlement and money laundering.

The election manifesto was launched Saturday, a day after Najib announced the dissolution of parliament, paving the way for national polls expected in early May.

Najib said the election is about "which side can provide a better life" for the people.