Najib on the comeback trail with Melaka poll sweep

SINGAPORE – To those who celebrated the downfall of Malaysia’s graft-tainted and since criminally-convicted former premier Najib Razak at 2018’s watershed election, heralded at the time as a democratic new beginning, the results of the bellwether state election in Melaka on November 20 are sobering.

The ex-prime minister, despite being virtually synonymous with the globe-spanning multi-billion dollar the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, was the political face of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s resounding victory over the weekend, clinching a supermajority in the state legislature by capturing 21 of 28 seats.

Analysts see the decisive win for Najib’s United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the lynchpin of the BN coalition, as a sign that the historic ruling party could go on to once again dominate national politics after the upcoming general election, which is not due until 2023 but is widely expected to be held in the latter half of next year or even earlier.

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