News analysis

Malaysia election: State leaders, not Najib, are the face of BN campaign

In 2013, a popular Prime Minister Najib Razak riding high on the image of being a leader for all Malaysians was an asset for an Umno-led government that was seen as unfair to Malaysia's ethnic minorities.

But in the campaign for the May 9 general election, Datuk Seri Najib is seen as both scandal-hit and responsible for unpopular policies, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the removal of subsidies, making him a liability for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, government sources and analysts say.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'State leaders, not Najib, are the face of BN campaign'. Print Edition | Subscribe