Najib survives attack from right in Umno elections

Najib survives attack from right in Umno elections
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak.

MALAYSIA - Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak survived the Umno electoral attack from the right of his party, as leaders loyal to him retained their top positions in party polls.

The youngest son of former premier Mahathir Mohamad failed to gatecrash the vice-presidential ranks, as did former Malacca chief minister Ali Rustam, another vice-presidential candidate who campaigned on Malay rights.

A youth leader who campaigned with an old battle cry "Long live the Malays" failed to win a single divisional vote in the fight against liberal-leaning Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

And so it appears that PM Najib has emerged unscathed, and even strengthened, from the just-concluded Umno internal elections, held every three years.

"Now that we have settled the issue of party elections, it is time to continue with transforming the party and the country," Datuk Seri Najib told the media yesterday. "There is a lot of work to be done."

Mr Najib has kept the three incumbent vice-presidents loyal to him - Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal, and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

Umno's Youth and Women's wing chiefs are also loyalists - Mr Khairy and Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil, his special adviser on women's affairs.

And Mr Najib also has many loyal names in the 25 just-elected leaders of the decision-making Umno Supreme Council.

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