In most countries, reports of $1 billion of unknown providence landing in a prime minister's personal bank account would likely herald a change at the top.
But Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak looks set to keep his grip on power despite unprecedented political opposition, analysts said.
The opposition to Najib took a high-profile step Friday when Malaysia's iconic former leader Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister from 1981-2003, joined members of both opposition and ruling parties to sign a declaration calling for Najib's removal.
Reuters also reported that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who Mahathir removed as deputy prime minister in 1998, issued a statement from jail saying that he supported the push to remove Najib. If Najib is allowed to remain in power, the damage from the scandal related to the deeply indebted state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will become worse, Mahathir said Friday.
The declaration was a shot across the bow.
"The fact that Mahathir and the other opposition leaders are banding together to put more pressure on Najib to resign is unprecedented," Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive at the self-described cross-partisan think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) in Malaysia, told CNBC's Squawk Box. "No one could have expected that Mahathir would be willing to sit down with his foes."