Malaysia: Najib urges UMNO to resolve internal tensions in bid to regain supermajority

  • Malaysia’s long-ruling Umno party must place victory in a looming general election ahead of personal ambitions, and resolve its internal tensions “like a family”, Prime Minister Najib Razak told party chiefs on 5 Dec 17, as he sought to unify them at the start of its annual assembly.
  • In the closed-door briefing to top and grassroots leaders across all party wings, Datuk Seri Najib said a committee would look into “conflict resolution” to ensure a smooth campaign in the national polls that must be held by Aug 18, sources present told The Straits Times.
  • PM Najib said Umno has “three problem (relationships) – between Umno and Umno, between Umno and elected representatives, and between Umno and components” of the Barisan Nasional coalition, said an attendee at the briefing.
  • Mr Najib, Umno’s president, called on members to compromise on election candidacy and have faith in a new selection methodology which has brought results in recent by-elections.
  • With the general election likely within months, followed by Umno’s internal polls, the party is facing intense jockeying for positions.
  • Its ranks of ambitious leaders want to be picked as candidates for the general election. There is also simultaneous jostling for posts ahead of its internal polls.
  • Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein called on party leaders to focus on the election and not internal party positions. “It is important for them to put party above everything else. Facing an election, it’s not just delegates in the hall who are important, but the public outside,” he said.
  • The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is aiming high in the upcoming general election, by targeting to win back its supermajority in Parliament that it lost in 2008.
  • Acting Umno deputy president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Umno-led BN does not simply want a win of a simple majority in the national polls that must be called by Aug 18
  • The 13-party BN coalition lost the two-thirds majority in the 222-seat federal Parliament in the 2008 and 2013 polls. BN has 132 seats in the House – 16 short of the 148-ward supermajority.
  • Umno leaders felt they have turned a corner, after surviving two years of internal turmoil caused by the financial scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

External Link : http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/najib-urges-umno-to-resolve-internal-tensions

External Link : http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysias-ruling-coalition-bn-aims-for-supermajority-in-parliament-again

6-Dec-2017


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