Najib out, son Nizar in for Pekan seat, says analyst

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak is running out of time to remain eligible to stand for election and defend his Pekan parliamentary seat, says an analyst.

The former prime minister has been the MP for five terms since 1976 in a seat held by his father from 1959. However, with a general election to be held within weeks, Najib may run out of time to qualify.

Najib is serving a 12-year jail term on corruption charges in the SRC International case. He has filed for a review to overturn his conviction and has also sought a royal pardon.

He may not be able to get a result in time to qualify as a candidate, with polling likely to be held on Nov 4 or Nov 6, says political analyst Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara.

“I think Najib’s (time as an) MP ends with the 14th Parliament,” Azmi said.

However, there was a “very high” chance of Najib’s son, Nizar, contesting the Pekan seat. Nizar, the Pekan Umno Youth chief, would keep Najib’s legacy intact, Azmi said.

Pekan has been held by the family since 1959, first with Najib’s father, second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein, and then by Najib on Razak’s death, except for one term from 1982-1986 when Najib was menteri besar of Pahang.

Another analyst agreed that Nizar was the prime candidate to take over Najib’s Pekan seat. “I think they are gunning for Nizar to replace his father as candidate for Pekan,” said Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

In August, Utusan Malaysia reported that Nizar was likely to contest the Pekan seat.

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