24 January 2016
Najib’s viability as PM in 2016 will be dependent on his ability to manage the current economic problems and overcome political challenges.
2016 will prove to be an important year for Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak both in the economic and political realms. While his critics had dismissed the PM’s chance for surviving the challenges that he faced in 2015, Najib has shown his resilience through the adept employment of a carrot and stick approach. It will not be surprising if he emerges at the end of the year with a more consolidated position.
For UMNO members, the PM’s performance this year will be crucial for the party. While the PM has shown his ability to unite UMNO, he remains largely unpopular with the Malaysian public. The Merdeka Centre’s survey in October 2015 showed that only 23% of Malaysians are happy with the government’s performance. It is not likely that these numbers have shifted significantly upwards. Najib will need to demonstrate that he is able to win back the support of Malaysians especially the Malays given that UMNO is now focused on winning the Malay votes to secure victory in the 14th General Election that must be called by 2018.
… Saleena Saleem is an Associate Research Fellow and Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman is an Assistant Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), where he is also the Coordinator of the Malaysia Programme.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 25/01/2016