Polls test for new Malaysian PM

Triple by-elections pose test for Najib just days after taking country's helm.

    Najib, left, has pledged reforms to revive support for the government [AFP]

    Ramon Navaratnam, the chairman of the Kuala Lumpur-based Centre for Public Policy Studies, said the polls were crucial because they were being seen as "a proxy for the popularity, confidence and faith in the future leadership of Najib".

    Najib has pledged far-reaching administrative and social reforms to revive the government's support following the ruling Barisan Nasional's (BN) worst general elections in four decades last year.

    But with a resurgent opposition, an economy on the brink of recession, and political, racial and social tensions at their highest in years, the new prime minister has his work cut out.

    Still, the opposition is "not as confident" as it was last year when it made strong gains in the general election, said Ooi Kee Beng, a political analyst at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

    The seat in Perak will be watched particularly closely after the BN wrested back the state from the opposition in January following three opposition legislators crossing over.

    And while the opposition cannot retake the state even if it wins Tuesday's by-election there, a loss for Najib's coalition could signal voters' rejection of the new leader and the BN's method of retaking the state.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Almost 300 people died in Mogadishu but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.