Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Razak is bidding to overhaul his administration’s public image just weeks ahead of a general election in Malaysia.
The polls scheduled for 5 May are expected to be the most tightly contested in the country’s post-colonial history.
Early signs indicate Najib’s campaign will emphasize his government’s national unity by promoting a “1Malaysia” logo and policies while playing down association with his multi-party ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
“1Malaysia” flags and banners have been posted separate from BN’s campaign materials in many areas of the country. The logo ”1”, draped in the colors and design of the national flag, has assumed greater prominence than the BN’s traditional measuring scales (dacing) symbol.
The move comes in sight of a Merdeka Centre opinion poll conducted in February that showed Najib’s personal approval rating stood at 61% while his BN coalition measured 48%. Survey respondents indicated that corruption, widely associated with BN politicians, and the high cost of living were their priority issues.