cover image: Najib’s Reduced Sentence a Reflection of UMNO’s Continuing Influence?


Najib’s Reduced Sentence a Reflection of UMNO’s Continuing Influence?

26 Feb 2024

The surprise, however, was the Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) muted response to the decision in addition to the Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) failure to use this decision as an opportunity to rebrand itself as a reliable opposition coalition. [...] Although the unity government holds a two-thirds majority, the 30 UMNO lawmakers within the coalition have the potential to significantly influence the unity government’s success or failure. [...] Even Zahid faced criticism from dissenting voices in UMNO, particularly from Najib’s loyal supporters within the party who voiced their disappointment over the decision, but Zahid’s task to explain the decision to the party was made easier because the decision by the Pardons Board had partially addressed the demands of the UMNO grassroots. [...] This demonstrates UMNO’s hegemony and sway in the unity government, as the DAP has been compelled to soften its reformist position to avoid destabilising the unity government A Missed Opportunity for Perikatan Nasional? Najib’s sentence was halved under the watchful eyes of the unity government led by Anwar who would be recognised as the one that nearly got Najib released. [...] It is worth noting that Hadi Awang of the Pan-Islamic Party (PAS), a PN component party, has maintained a significant close connection with Najib since 2015, with the latter an ally of sorts to PAS’ long term objective of hudud and the empowerment of the syariah courts in the state of Kelantan.


Janet Fung

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