‘Will Najib go if he loses more states in next GE?’

Sharon Tan

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan says he wonders if the precedent set by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2008 will be followed by Prime Minister Najib Razak should a similar situation arise. – The Malaysian Insight file pic by Kamal Ariffin, October 21. 2017.

BARISAN Nasional may well take Putrajaya in the next general election but things may not be so straightforward in some states, says Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

He said polls conducted by private organisations in various states bore interesting results.

Wan Saiful, who said a survey undertaken in Johor found that the menteri besar scored more than 70% in approval ratings and the state government scored just under 80%.

“So, the Umno state government is very popular. But on federal issues, such as on questions about how popular Najib Razak and Umno were nationwide, it found that Najib’s approval rating dropped to 30%. Umno, when considered at the national level, dropped to 30%-40%.

“So, we have a situation in Johor where the people are happy with the state government but unhappy with the federal government.

“How do you predict an election outcome when you have a situation like this? Johor has never experienced split voting. They have never voted one for state, another for federal. But this time, the difference is significant,” Wan Saiful said at an IDEAS Café talk entitled “GE14: Is Umno in Trouble”, this morning.

He said states like Malacca also had significant anger towards Umno and BN nationally but not as much state-level-wise.

“In Terengganu, where PAS is strong, the dynamics are different. When you go to Kedah, it is becoming uncertain as well.

“You go state by state; what you find is that, even if the picture for Putrajaya looks safe for Umno, the picture going state by state is different.

“So, I am wondering if we are looking at the return of 2008,” said Wan Saiful, who is also senior fellow at the ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute based in Singapore.

In the 2008 General Election, BN won federal control but lost in five states – Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor.

“Is Umno under threat?  Umno, at the national level, may not be under threat. Umno in many states may not be under threat. But the precedent set in 2008 when Pak Lah (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) lost five states, was that he was forced to step down. Najib was one of those people who forced him to step down. Najib is the main beneficiary of that power struggle in Umno. Of course, Dr Mahathir Mohamed also played a role.

“One of main arguments put forward was, yes, we may have won Putrajaya but lost five states. So, the challenge now is not so much on Umno but on Najib as he set the precedent. If you lose states, you have to go.

“What if Najib loses, for example, Kedah or Perak. Malacca is looking shaky as well. It would be disastrous for him if Johor is lost. What will happen to him?

“The situation for Umno in Malaysia as a whole may look quite alright but if you go state by state, the worry is more for Najib than Umno.  I wonder how long Najib can last if he loses even just one more state to the opposition coalition.” – October 21, 2017.

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  • Ha ha ha najib can always looked upon his father for inspiration if he lost ha ha ha

    Posted 6 years ago by Leslie Chan · Reply

  • Pak Lah was forced out due to the Machiavellian machinations of the devious Tun who wanted to install the current PM (what irony!). However, with so many skeletons in his cupboard, the PM would NOT step down whatever the outcome unless he lost either his seat or Putrajaya or both. He cannot feel safe if he resigns.

    Posted 6 years ago by Malaysian First · Reply