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Malaysia in transition

Malaysia's UMNO bets on itself before election clash with Muhyiddin

In unusual move, party VP says no coalition talks until after COVID-stalled polls

A United Malays National Organisation rally in 2017, before the party fell from power: Malaysia's largest single political force is confident its grassroots support will pay off next time.   © EPA/Jiji

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's largest political force, the United Malays National Organisation, is confident it will win enough seats in the next election to lead the formation of the government. It is so sure, in fact, that it does not intend to negotiate a fresh alliance beforehand, according to its vice president.

UMNO grudgingly helped Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin fend off a leadership challenge late last year, before his push to call a national coronavirus emergency suspended parliament and stalled the seemingly imminent 15th federal polls. But UMNO's vice president, Khaled Nordin, told Nikkei Asia that his party will go head to head with Muhyiddin's Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu) whenever the vote happens.

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