Big Gamble for PM Najib in Selangor

Khoo Kay Peng

Najib’s appointment as the Selangor BN election director shows that the stake is high in the next GE. He is already the Selangor BN chairperson. At the 11th hour before the GE, it appears that Selangor UMNO is still unable to identify a leader/CM candidate lead the coalition in their attempt to wrest the wealthiest state back from PR.

Two Selangor Umno leaders are widely seen as potential MB candidates – state BN coordinator Mohd Zin Mohamed and his deputy, Noh Omar. There are rumours that both of them do not get along well. 

Najib’s appointment does come with a risk. He might be putting all his eggs into a basket. A failure to wrest back the state would put his leadership at risk. If Najib wins federal power without BN’s customary 2/3 majority but loses Selangor, it is highly likely that he will be replaced at the next UMNO party elections as the party president cum prime minister.

As an election director, he needs to be on the ground during the entire campaign period. He has to direct campaigns and operations during the elections. If Najib assigns his tasks to his deputies, his campaign in Selangor could be jeopardy since the two top state leaders are not on good terms and worse if both are contesting in state seats.