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Malaysia's ruling UMNO aims for 'simple majority' in parliament

Official says party relies not on Najib but on 'grassroots network' in Nov. 19 election

Shahril Sufian Hamdan, the ruling United Malays National Organization's information chief, speaks to Nikkei Asia in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Hakimie Amrie)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's ruling party, the United Malays National Organization, or UMNO, is confident that it will be able to form a new government after the Nov. 19 federal election, Shahril Sufian Hamdan, a senior party official, told Nikkei Asia in a recent interview.

Scandal-hit UMNO, the country's largest and oldest political party, is among the front-runners in the race to secure a mandate at the polls. However, the Hope Pact led by Anwar Ibrahim is also seen as a favorite, especially among voters in urban constituencies.

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