Mohamad Nizar Najib, the eldest son of jailed former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, will contest for a state seat in this month’s election as he seeks to continue his family’s political legacy.
Nizar, 44, will contest for the Peramu Jaya seat under the Pekan federal constituency, according to the Election Commission. He is among more than two dozen new candidates that the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition picked for the Pahang state poll that will be held alongside the Nov 19 national vote.
Speculation was rife that Nizar would contest the parliamentary seat of Pekan, which his family had won in almost every election since Malaysia’s independence in 1957. Nizar replaces incumbent Peramu Jaya assemblyman Sheikh Mohamed Puzi Sheikh Ali, who will instead stand in the Pekan parliamentary seat.
Najib is serving a 12-year prison sentence for his role in the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal. He has applied for a royal pardon, but remains on trial in four other cases, each carrying prison terms and hefty financial penalties.
Campaigning for Malaysia’s general election kicked off Saturday, with the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance seeking to strengthen its position following a run of successful local polls. Nearly 1,000 candidates submitted nomination papers, according to the Election Commission. More than 21 million Malaysians will cast ballots for 222 parliament seats and pick representatives for the states of Pahang, Perak and Perlis.