IT is an open secret that there is a dwindling chance for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as the incumbent Pekan MP, to defend his seat in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15), pending any decision for a royal pardon.
It is also not much of a secret that Najib’s eldest son Datuk Mohd Nizar Najib is the prime candidate to take over his father’s Pekan seat and keep the family’s legacy intact.
For the uninitiated, former prime minister Najib has been the Pekan MP since 1976. Pekan has been held by the family since 1959, first with Najib’s father, second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, and then by Najib on Abdul Razak’s demise (except for one term from 1982–1986 when Najib was menteri besar of Pahang).
Further fuelling speculation, administrators for Najib’s official Facebook page recently shared a video of Nizar vowing to continue his father’s service in Pekan, while also sharing his career move into joining active politics.
Malaysiakini further reported that within UMNO, a party source had shared that it is “almost certain” for Nizar to be named BN’s candidate in Pekan as Najib’s aura remained strong even from behind bars.
“I can say it is almost certain that Nizar will replace Najib in Pekan. He has long been actively involved with his father as the youth chief,” the news portal quoted the source as saying.
“That gives an advantage for Nizar to contest in Pekan. What’s more, the ‘bossku’ aura is still strong in the area. His name has also been nominated for the previous Chini by-election.”
Previously, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia had also quoted Pekan UMNO chief Datuk Seri Zamri Ramly as saying that neither Nizar not his sister Nooryana Najwa were nominated to replace their father in the Pekan parliamentary seat.
Instead, Zamri announced that the party had nominated five candidates from the Pekan UMNO division including Najib.
“There are no plans [to let Nizar or Nooryana contest]. Rather, whoever is chosen to contest in Pekan will hand the Pekan parliamentary seat back to Najib after he is being pardoned,” Zamri told Utusan Malaysia.
The UMNO man however remained mum on the four other names nominated, although he revealed that Nizar – who is the Pekan UMNO Youth chief – had been nominated for a state seat in the constituency.
There are four state seats under the Pekan parliamentary constituency – Chini, Bebar, Peramu Jaya and Pulau Manis.
Najib is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence in Kajang Prison following the Federal Court’s decision on Aug 23 to uphold his corruption conviction involving RM42 mil of SRC International funds.
He has filed for a review to overturn his conviction and has also sought a royal pardon. – Oct 24, 2022
Main photo credit: Utusan Malaysia