Commentary: Prison is hardly the end of the road for Najib

Commentary: Prison is hardly the end of the road for Najib

On the other hand, Ismail Sabri, though seemingly unambitious and uncharismatic, can be interested to function another term since prime minister. Delaying the election day would give time and space for the judiciary to convict one or both of their political rivals, hence eliminating the biggest threat in Ismail Sabri’s party.

To Ismail Sabri, a redoubling of support for Najib and the old guard is the worst-case scenario. Prison was supposed to weaken Najib’s loyalists within UMNO; instead, they are now emboldened with a vengeance against Ismail Sabri. Ahmad Zahid has sent a “loud and clear signal” that the election should be held by the end associated with 2022, even with the risk of monsoon surges .

The growing momentum of the Free Najib campaign and talks of Najib’s illness have further cornered Ismail Sabri, forcing him to instruct the Malaysian Health Ministry to give Najib the best medical treatment possible.

Active social media, fired up supporters, and pressures in order to call an early political election – to Ismail Sabri, it is as if Najib had not gone to prison at all.


In addition to that, as a party, UMNO would now be required to make an important contact of whether in order to embrace or say goodbye to an imprisoned Najib. The division in between party leaders exactly who think Najib need to reap what he sowed, and party leaders who show him a sufferer of malicious assault, will continue to deteriorate the party.

UMNO risks losing well-known support as Malaysians generally perceive Najib’s conviction in the 1MDB trial as the correct decision. According to a Merdeka Center poll in 2020, 61 percent of Malaysians accepted of the guilty judgement. Even among UMNO’s stronghold, the majority of Malay voters approved, from 57 per cent, with less than 20 % believing the confidence was wrong.

Malaysians can also be sensitive to double standards since the outbreak, which revealed gross inequality between the elites and the poor.