Mohd Nizar: “I’ll leave it up to UMNO leadership to decide on candidacy for GE15”

AMID speculations that he would be named the candidate for the Pekan parliamentary seat in the forthcoming 15th General Election (GE15) to replace his father who is currently in prison, Datuk Mohd Nizar Najib said that he will leave it to the UMNO leadership to decide on the matter.  

In an interview with Utusan Malaysia, Mohd Nizar said as Pekan UMNO Youth chief he has been considered for the Pekan parliamentary seat or for a state seat in the constituency. 

There are four state seats under the Pekan parliamentary constituency – Chini, Bebar, Peramu Jaya and Pulau Manis. 

However, he pointed out that as a loyal party member, he will leave the final decision to the party and will rise up to the challenge should he be nominated. 

Mohd Nizar said he wants his position as a GE15 candidate to be determined based on his performance and ability as an UMNO member and not as a descendent of the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein or even his own father, Najib.  

Family influence does not guarantee his position as a candidate; rather, the matter is determined solely on his performance and service to the people. 

“People say that I am from a political family, but this does not guarantee success in the field as people ultimately judge us based on performance and service. What is important isn’t your family, but the people’s acceptance of an elected representative,” he told the Malay daily. 

“The party leadership has always emphasised the concept of WALI, in which a candidate is considered to have the potential to win and is liked by the people, and that is the criteria that is constantly emphasised by the party. 

“Even if we were elected, we need to prove [our worth] in order to be accepted by the voters instead of simply riding on the influence of Tun Razak’s legacy.” 

Previously it was reported that neither Mohd Nizar nor his sister Nooryana Najwa were nominated to replace their father in the Pekan parliamentary seat in GE15. 

Rather, Pekan UMNO chief Datuk Seri Zamri Ramly was quoted as saying that the party had nominated five candidates from the Pekan UMNO division including Najib. 

Commenting on this matter, Mohd Nizar pointed out that anyone can issue their own statements but ultimately, the final decision belongs to the UMNO central leadership once a list of candidates is submitted. 

Mohd Nizar further acknowledged the arduous task ahead of defending the Pekan parliamentary seat and the four state assembly seats, adding that the party risks losing the seats if the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition fails to understand the people’s sentiments. 

“Traditionally, it is true that Pekan is an UMNO stronghold, but this does not mean we can sit idly by and not make preparations,” he stressed. 

“In fact, we lost two state seats in the Pekan parliamentary constituency back in 1999 during the ‘reformasi’ or reformation wave and my father barely won by a narrow margin of 241 votes,” he noted. – Oct 28, 2022 


Main photo credit: Kosmo

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