The race is on for Malaysia’s new prime minister, and Najib Razak is seen as contender

Malaysia’s parliament is proposing the new prime minister to the monarch

Malaysia could get a new prime minister as early as this week after the abrupt resignation of incumbent Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on August 16, with 220 members of parliament seeking to find someone who can form a stable government after more than a year of discord.

The lawmakers will be sending their preference to the constitutional monarch, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. The candidate needs a backing of 111 nominations in a secret ballot that has a deadline of Wednesday, August 18, 4pm.

According to local media, there are some familiar names and among those who might get nominated, and even former prime minister Najib Razak is among them. Najib fell into disgrace for his involvement in the 1MDB graft scandal and has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, but he appealed.

What the potential candidates have in common is that no one is younger than 60 years of age.

All of the contenders have at one point been part of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which governed Malaysia for decades until voters booted it from power in 2018 following the 1MDB corruption scandal. Five of the seven contenders remain in UMNO, although the party has been shaken by divisions among competing factions.

Malaysia’s next leader will need to curb a surge in coronavirus cases and push ahead with a vaccination drive in order to support a flagging economy.

Following are the candidates that might have enough backing to take over the job:

Ismail Sabri Yaakob, 61

The former deputy prime minister in Muhyiddin’s administration was among senior officials who spearheaded Malaysia’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic since last year. He was also was defense minister and, in the past, has overseen the ministries of rural development and agriculture.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, 84

Malaysia’s longest-serving member of parliament is a descendant of the royal family in the east coast state of Kelantan and served as finance minister and trade minister in the 1970s and 1980s. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was the first UMNO lawmaker to openly break away from the Muhyiddin administration last year.

Najib Razak, 68

The former prime minister, who was implicated in the world’s largest corruption scandal involving state fund 1MDB, is now Malaysia’s most popular politician on social media with more than four million followers on Facebook and Twitter. Since losing office in 2018 amid outrage over the 1MDB scandal, Najib Razak has undergone a makeover to repair his image. His social media-based criticism of successive governments, under both Muhyiddin and Mahathir Mohamad, have won him a wider audience.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, 68

UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi orchestrated the collapse of the Muhyiddin administration by ordering his party to withdraw its support for the former premier. In doing so, he alienated several UMNO ministers in Muhyiddin’s cabinet. He was deputy prime minister and home minister during Najib’s era and took over the UMNO presidency in 2018. He also faced corruption charges in court and has pleaded not guilty.

Hishammuddin Hussein, 60

Hishammuddin Hussein was the foreign minister in Muhyiddin’s former cabinet. He also became a senior minister overseeing security in July as Muhyiddin sought to shore up support from UMNO. As the eldest son of Malaysia’s third prime minister, Hishammudin remains popular in UMNO and was the country’s public face in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014.

Anwar Ibrahim, 74

The opposition leader has so far failed to show that he can command a majority despite making repeated bids for the top job. Once a rising star in UMNO and a former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim was seen as Mahathir’s successor in the 1990s before he was fired in the wake of the Asian financial crisis and jailed for abuse of power. Anwar’s party joined forces with Mahathir to wrest power from UMNO in the 2018 polls to form the government, leading to the opposition leader’s pardon and release from jail.

Mahathir Mohamad, 96

Malaysia’s senior statesman, Mahathir Mohamad, has said he is not interested in becoming prime minister for a third time. Instead and despite his advanced age, he has proposed leading a council staffed with lawmakers from across the political spectrum that can rule the country until a new government can be appointed. However, Mahatir remains influential by virtue of his experience and time in power.



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Malaysia's parliament is proposing the new prime minister to the monarch Malaysia could get a new prime minister as early as this week after the abrupt resignation of incumbent Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on August 16, with 220 members of parliament seeking to find someone who can form a stable government after more than a year of discord. The lawmakers will be sending their preference to the constitutional monarch, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. The candidate needs a backing of 111 nominations in a secret ballot that has a deadline of Wednesday, August 18, 4pm. According to local media, there...

Malaysia’s parliament is proposing the new prime minister to the monarch

Malaysia could get a new prime minister as early as this week after the abrupt resignation of incumbent Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on August 16, with 220 members of parliament seeking to find someone who can form a stable government after more than a year of discord.

The lawmakers will be sending their preference to the constitutional monarch, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. The candidate needs a backing of 111 nominations in a secret ballot that has a deadline of Wednesday, August 18, 4pm.

According to local media, there are some familiar names and among those who might get nominated, and even former prime minister Najib Razak is among them. Najib fell into disgrace for his involvement in the 1MDB graft scandal and has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, but he appealed.

What the potential candidates have in common is that no one is younger than 60 years of age.

All of the contenders have at one point been part of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which governed Malaysia for decades until voters booted it from power in 2018 following the 1MDB corruption scandal. Five of the seven contenders remain in UMNO, although the party has been shaken by divisions among competing factions.

Malaysia’s next leader will need to curb a surge in coronavirus cases and push ahead with a vaccination drive in order to support a flagging economy.

Following are the candidates that might have enough backing to take over the job:

Ismail Sabri Yaakob, 61

The former deputy prime minister in Muhyiddin’s administration was among senior officials who spearheaded Malaysia’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic since last year. He was also was defense minister and, in the past, has overseen the ministries of rural development and agriculture.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, 84

Malaysia’s longest-serving member of parliament is a descendant of the royal family in the east coast state of Kelantan and served as finance minister and trade minister in the 1970s and 1980s. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was the first UMNO lawmaker to openly break away from the Muhyiddin administration last year.

Najib Razak, 68

The former prime minister, who was implicated in the world’s largest corruption scandal involving state fund 1MDB, is now Malaysia’s most popular politician on social media with more than four million followers on Facebook and Twitter. Since losing office in 2018 amid outrage over the 1MDB scandal, Najib Razak has undergone a makeover to repair his image. His social media-based criticism of successive governments, under both Muhyiddin and Mahathir Mohamad, have won him a wider audience.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, 68

UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi orchestrated the collapse of the Muhyiddin administration by ordering his party to withdraw its support for the former premier. In doing so, he alienated several UMNO ministers in Muhyiddin’s cabinet. He was deputy prime minister and home minister during Najib’s era and took over the UMNO presidency in 2018. He also faced corruption charges in court and has pleaded not guilty.

Hishammuddin Hussein, 60

Hishammuddin Hussein was the foreign minister in Muhyiddin’s former cabinet. He also became a senior minister overseeing security in July as Muhyiddin sought to shore up support from UMNO. As the eldest son of Malaysia’s third prime minister, Hishammudin remains popular in UMNO and was the country’s public face in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014.

Anwar Ibrahim, 74

The opposition leader has so far failed to show that he can command a majority despite making repeated bids for the top job. Once a rising star in UMNO and a former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim was seen as Mahathir’s successor in the 1990s before he was fired in the wake of the Asian financial crisis and jailed for abuse of power. Anwar’s party joined forces with Mahathir to wrest power from UMNO in the 2018 polls to form the government, leading to the opposition leader’s pardon and release from jail.

Mahathir Mohamad, 96

Malaysia’s senior statesman, Mahathir Mohamad, has said he is not interested in becoming prime minister for a third time. Instead and despite his advanced age, he has proposed leading a council staffed with lawmakers from across the political spectrum that can rule the country until a new government can be appointed. However, Mahatir remains influential by virtue of his experience and time in power.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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