SHAH ALAM: Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) remains a liability for Barisan Nasional in the looming Semenyih by-election despite becoming a recent viral sensation with the "Bossku" moniker.
Selangor-linked think-tank Institut Darul Ehsan deputy chairman Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman said Najib's recent surge in support is actually due to Barisan Nasional.
"There is a difference between support for Najib and Barisan. Barisan has more support compared to Najib. This means that in that context, Najib has support," he said.
Dr Mohammad Redzuan was speaking to reporters when met after a press conference following the launch of IDE's survey on the Semenyih polls on Thursday (Feb 14).
"He does have followers but it's not significant. Najib is seen as a liability to Umno," he added.
According to Dr Mohammad Redzuan, ground sentiments of grassroots Umno leaders and members are still blaming Najib over its disastrous defeat in the 14th General Election.
"There is a group in Umno that sees him as a liability. Some organisers for the by-election may want him involved, but some may not," he said.
"If they want a new image, they will not use Najib as their face for the election.
"Umno realises that if it wants to revive, it has to shed its old image of Najib and (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad) Zahid Hamidi," he added.
Dr Mohammad Redzuan also said that the reputation of Najib, who is facing multiple graft charges, has not fully recovered yet.
"'Bossku' is just on social media. It hasn't translated to votes yet. It's just entertainment," he added.
Najib is currently enjoying a newfound fame as a troll on social media, some 10 months after leading Barisan into its disastrous defeat after 61 years of rule.
He is rapidly gaining followers on social media as his artsy trolling on the Pakatan Harapan administration and various national issues make the rounds among Malaysians.
More recently, Najib also caused a stir on social media after he uploaded a picture of him in a cap and a gown, in an apparent jab towards the fake degree controversy surrounding Pakatan ministers.