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    State polls: Brewing discontent among Najib supporters


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    The brewing internal turmoil within Umno poses a significant threat to the party’s ability to deliver the crucial Malay votes in the upcoming state elections. If not addressed effectively, this turmoil could jeopardize the party’s support for the unity government.

    One of the main sources of discontent among Umno supporters revolves around the lack of efforts by the party leadership to secure a royal pardon for former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is currently serving a prison sentence. This sentiment was particularly evident during the recent party general assembly, where top leaders showed a lack of support for Najib.

    According to Umno Youth permanent chairman Wan Agyl Wan Hassan, the party members have noticed the reluctance of top leaders to align themselves with a leader involved in a corruption scandal. This hesitation may stem from the potential political and public perception costs associated with such an alignment. Wan Agyl stated, “This situation creates various perceptions among Najib supporters who wanted clear action instead of words.”

    Wan Agyl also acknowledged that the party’s top leadership was aware of the discontent among Umno members. To address this, Najib’s eldest son, Datuk Nizar, delivered a speech during the general assembly, showcasing a video clip of Najib and emphasizing his father’s desire for party loyalty. However, the effectiveness of this solution remains uncertain.

    Wan Agyl argued that Najib’s influence on Umno was evident in the contrasting results of the Johor and Melaka state polls and the 15th General Election. He pointed out that support for Najib appeared stronger than support for Umno itself. Despite facing multiple court cases, Najib continues to enjoy rising support, with leaders from parties like Bersatu and PAS even calling for his pardon.

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    Highlighting the potential risks, Wan Agyl urged the top leadership to consider the possibility of Najib supporters boycotting the state polls. Nevertheless, he expressed confidence that such a boycott would not occur if the matter was tactfully handled.

    Adding to the conversation, Federal Territories Umno Youth chief Datuk Aliff Firdaus emphasized that while various issues were discussed during the recent Umno general assembly, Najib remained a prominent concern for grassroots leaders seeking justice. Aliff dismissed the murmurs of party members boycotting the state polls, stating that the top leaders are actively fighting for justice in Najib’s case.

    Aliff stated, “In fact, Najib himself does not want Umno members to shield him.” He emphasized that Umno members prioritize the party’s interests and seek justice for Najib in a rational manner.

    In response to claims of a boycott, Aliff suggested that this factor may be a political ploy employed by opponents to weaken the spirits of Umno members. He encouraged party members to remain focused on their goals and the upcoming state elections.

    The six states of Selangor, Penang, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kelantan, and Kedah are scheduled to hold elections on August 12. Meanwhile, Najib Razak continues to serve his 12-year prison sentence at the Kajang prison, with his pardon request yet to be discussed in the Pardons Board meeting.

    Credit: The Star : News Feed

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