Najib faces serious challenges. In addition to the widespread perception of his own corruption in connection with billions of dollars in contracts let to UMNO cronies when he was defense minister, he has the continuing millstone of the economy around his neck. As late as two weeks ago, the stimulus package he put into place was expected to result in gross domestic product growth of plus or minus 1 percent. However, the economy slipped disastrously, by 6.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter and Najib said Thursday that it could contract by as much as 4 to 5 percent for the full year.
And, as Mahathir has pointed out, despite his promises to rid the party of the old-guard rent-seekers that got UMNO in trouble with the wider public prior to the 2008 election, he has brought them back in growing numbers.
Najib’s report card – economy slipping, more rent-seekers