KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in a Facebook post published this morning, praised his son Nizar for agreeing to sit out the Chini state seat by-election, calling it the mark of a true leader.
Najib said it was he that made the call to nominate Mohd Sharim Md Zain as Barisan Nasional’s candidate despite the strong support for his son’s candidacy within Umno and the coalition.
Datuk Nizar Najib is the Youth chief of Umno’s Pekan chapter, while Najib is its chief and MP.
“Yes, Nizar as the Pekan Umno Youth chief is qualified to become a candidate based on his party post, leadership, experience as well as education,” the former prime minister wrote.
“Many in Pekan Umno alongside friends in BN were also supportive of Nizar’s candidacy,” he added.
“But my stand was that there are others equal or better suited to become the candidate for the Chini state seat by-election.”
The decision was also made in the name of principle, Najib added, an apparent swipe at his rivals in the Opposition whom he suggested imposed dynastic rule on their respective parties.
The former prime minister said naming Nizar would have created an “awkward” situation, whereby his son would become an elected representative of a state seat within the parliamentary constituency helmed by his father.
“My name is not Anwar, Mahathir nor Kit Siang and Umno is not a party that belongs to any particular family,” Najib said.
“It would be more appropriate to give other capable Umno leaders there the chance.”
Mohd Sharim, a second-generation Felda settler, is a Pekan Umno division committee member.
Umno leaders said his candidacy made sense because he is a local.
The 41-year-old has a long track record of serving the constituency under late Chini assemblyman Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun, whose death paved the way for the by-election.
He was officially named as BN’s candidate yesterday.