Malaysian leader strengthens hand in party polls
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak strengthened his hand in ruling-party elections but analysts said questions remain over his stop-start plans to reform Southeast Asia`s third-largest economy amid resistance from conservatives.
Najib was unopposed as president of the long-ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in the party`s polls, the final results of which were tallied late Saturday.
But other posts were closely watched to determine whether Najib was losing ground to powerful conservatives upset with his earlier pledge to liberalise a controversial system of preferences for the Muslim Malay majority, and other reforms.
Analysts said Najib appeared to have held off conservatives, for now.
"On the surface of it, Najib`s leadership of the party is undisputed," said Ibrahim Suffian, director of leading polling organisation Merdeka Centre.
"His team will be able to push some reforms, but the right-wing element of the party is not extinguished. There will have to be some compromise."
The Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, through which UMNO has ruled the multi-ethnic, Muslim-majority country for decades, has won national elections by diminishing margins as voters tire of its race-based politics and authoritarian rule.
Najib, now 60 and in office since 2009, responded by advocating political and economic reforms to win back support, but has been restricted by hardliners keen to protect Malay dominance.
Najib has already backtracked on key reform moves including a cautious pledge to water down UMNO`s decades-old affirmative-action policies for Malays in education, housing, and economic opportunities.
The system is resented by the sizeable ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities and economists view it as a drag on national competitiveness.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Aware of Chinese submarine deployment at Balochistan's Gwadar port, says Navy chief
- Like SAARC, should India boycott Pak in Heart of Asia conference?
- PM Narendra Modi's speech at Heart of Asia conference
- Panel discussion over Mamata Banerjee's false allegations on Indian Army for political gains
- 'Heart of Asia' Conference begins in Amritsar; Sartaj Aziz to pay a visit on Sunday
- Rs 14,000 crore default case: Gujarat businessman detained, says money belongs to politicians, babus
- Gujarat man who disclosed Rs 14,000 crore unaccounted wealth goes missing
- Newly-wed couple Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech perform `bhangra` at Goa airport – Viral video
- Rahul Dravid heaps praise on Virat Kohli, R Ashwin; calls duo modern cricket legends
- Indian Army makes major changes in recruitment process – Click here to get updated information