Umno's plans to field new faces in Malaysia elections lead to pushback

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak raises the United Malays National Organisation flag beside his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during its general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Dec 7, 2017.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak raises the United Malays National Organisation flag beside his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during its general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Dec 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Party's division chiefs lobbying to safeguard positions, promote their own preferences

Faced with an unprecedented challenge to its dominance over the ethnic Malay majority in the coming general election, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) is planning to pack its candidate list with new faces at the parliamentary and state assembly contests.

But the proposal to nominate first-timers for up to 40 per cent of the seats is facing a determined pushback from Umno's powerful warlords, senior officials say ahead of Parliament likely to be dissolved tomorrow, paving the way for the Malaysian polls to be held by May.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Umno's plans to field new faces in elections lead to pushback'. Print Edition | Subscribe