Archive for September 9th, 2016

Murmurs of Early Malaysia Election After Najib Weathers Storms

Shamim Adam
September 9, 2016

There’s the whisper of an early election in the air in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Najib Razak and senior officials of his ruling United Malays National Organisation have used dozens of annual party events across the country in recent weeks to exhort members — the bulk of whom are ethnic Malays — to get out and meet potential voters, especially younger ones.

Amid repeated references to the next general election, it’s raising speculation Malaysians will head to the polls before the due date of the middle of 2018. Some senior UMNO officials say it could be as soon as March.

Najib, 63, has weathered more than a year of turmoil amid political attacks over a funding scandal that left foreign investors wondering at times if he would survive in the job. Getting an election win under his belt could dispel doubts about his ability to lead, while providing him with a new mandate to implement economic reforms for a long-touted goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020.

“March has been talked about,” said an UMNO division leader from a southern state, who asked not to be identified, citing the confidential nature of the information. “And why not? The opposition is not together. We are ready as we can be for elections.” Read the rest of this entry »