09 May 2018
MALAYSIAN prime minister Najib Razak is fighting for his political life against opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad as votes from the country’s general election are counted.
Mr Najib, who has been power since 2009, held a commanding lead over his 92-year-old rival and former mentor but has seen the tide has turned against him, even in the rural strongholds of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
But experts believe the election will be decided by a large silent majority, many of whom live in remote rural areas of Malaysia and traditionally have voted for BN.
Among rural farmers and ethnic Malay in states such as Sabah and Sarawak, Mr Najib demands huge loyalty for the generous subsidies given out and issues such as the 1MDB corruption scandal do not factor in their voting choices.
Research analyst Rashaad Ali from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said: “The big issue is cost of living — other issues like corruption are secondary to Malaysians’ bread and butter.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 10/05/2018