Malaysian PM Najib calls for election preparations

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has urged party members of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) to make preparations for the 14th general election, though he still declined to give a definitive answer on whether he would call a snap election next year.

Delegates who attended a closed-door presidential address ahead of the 70th UMNO General Assembly said they had received a clear message from Najib, who serves as UMNO president, to retake seats in the next general election, according to a Wednesday report from the Star.

According to Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin, an UMNO supreme council member, Najib told the attendees to "be prepared together with the grassroots to convince the nation that the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional is the strongest and most relevant to lead Malaysia."

Malaysia is due to hold an election by around June in 2018, but with the oppositions, which include a new party set up by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, rumor has it that Najib will call a snap election.

"Most importantly, the war horn has been sounded and we, as the party machinery, must start a mass movement to win back seats," Norsabrina Mohd Noor, another senior member of UMNO was quoted as saying by the Star.

However, in an interview with the same newspaper on Sunday, Najib said the general election would "not necessarily" be in the first or second half of 2017. "It can be later. I'm enjoying this speculation. Let people go on speculating," he said.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]
 

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