The question of when will Malaysia PM Najib Razak call for a snap election is drumming louder. Will it be in the first half of 2011 simultaneously with the Sarawak state election, in the second half of 2011 if the Sarawak’s state election results are BN-favorable, or in 2012 if Sarawak results fall within expectation?
Here are the reasons and hints why the snap election will be called next year, 2011.
1) Najib and Muhyiddin is set to tour the country next year
- You don’t simply tour the country for no apparent reason unless you wish to gauge the sentiment on the ground and to make sweet promises in order to fish for votes.
- And fortunately to Najib and his deputy, there’re still many rural voters who can dance better than Michael Jackson in joys the moment a prime minister shake their hands or distribute some goodies.
2) (Former) MIC President Samy Vellu stepped down
- One of the reasons BN lost badly in Mar 2008 general election was the swing in Indian votes, not so much because they loved the opposition but rather they hated the government specifically Samy Vellu.
- By hook or by sweet compensation, Najib has to get rid of the main hurdle – the dictator Samy Vellu who has been running the show for 31-years
3) Recent Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections as good indicator
- Since Mar 2008 general election the country witnessed 13 by-elections following the death or resignation of the incumbent people’s representatives of which BN won 5, including the latest 2 wins from Galas and Batu Sapi.
- If this is true indicators of people’s acceptance of Najib leadership, then by all means Najib should be calling a snap election soon
4) Perkasa has been (or rather instructed?) extremely quiet
- The racist Perkasa which is known as the left arm of UMNO in playing racist sentiments in order to fish or swing Malays votes have been extremely quiet lately.
- This pet project by Mahathir obviously has been instructed to take a rest in anticipation of the coming snap election.
5) Sarawak’s state election
- The next state election in Sarawak must be held by July 2011 and the Chief Minister is expected to call one as early as before Chinese New Year.
- The Sibu by-election has taught BN (Barisan Nasional) the bitter lesson of letting opposition PR (Pakatan Rakyat) to campaign full-force in Sarawak. By holding general election and Sarawak state election together, PR top speakers would not be able to focus and swing local voters.
- But Najib could also play the safe-game of gambling Sarawak’s result to gauge whether he should call a snap election immediately after Sarawak state election or delay it further to lick the wounds.
- In an unlikely event that Sarawak’s result is disastrous but not bad enough for the federal government to lose power, Najib administration may resort to its dirtiest tactic once more of locking up all the opposition leaders behind bars. How hard could it be to cook up some stories for another “Operations Lalang Part II”?
6) GST (Goods and Services Tax) implementation
- The unpopular GST is ready to be implemented but put on hold numerous times because the across-the-board tax will affect every Tom, Dick and his cat.
- Inflation and low salary are felt by many voters thus it’s a suicidal mission to push through GST. However the nation’s coffer is fast running dry especially with the country’s oil reserves running out. Najib administration desperately needs to implement GST as new source of income and can only do that after a fresh mandate.
7) PKFZ scandal
- The infamous mother of all scandal, PKFZ, will be used for sure by opposition on how Najib administration is lying about combating corruption.
- Previous PM Abdullah Badawi’s political script in charging Land and Co- Operative Development Minister Kasitah Gaddam in 2004 for corruption, a month before calling for a snap election, is being played again. It’s all about same script but different actor and who fits the role better than Ling Liong Sik? You can bet all your money that senior Ling will walk free in no time.
8) UMNO election postponed
- Najib’s grip to power in UMNO is still weak especially with his deputy eyeing the powerful seat. His deputy Muhyiddin is known to speak the language of Mahathir and with the support of the political savvy Mahathir, Najib could lose his premiership quite easily. Hence Najib needs time to consolidate his powerbase within UMNO.
- This is perhaps the most obvious reason why the general election could be held in the second half of 2011. With the UMNO party elections postponed by 18-months, Najib hope to score better and hopefully wrest the two-third majority in the snap election and therefore claim his position as the legitimate UMNO president.
9) Anwar’s sodomy II
- If Najib administration wishes to, it could have put Anwar behind bars earlier in spite of the poorly written script on the sodomy part-II accusation. Opposition de-facto leader Anwar is actually at the mercy of Najib administration for being able to walk freely now.
- But Najib couldn’t lock-up Anwar, at least not yet, simply because it would swing Malays votes should Najib plans to call a snap election next year. Anwar is a walking time-bomb and needs to be “secured” permanently behind four walls hence an early election (and victory) would grant Najib that opportunity.
10) Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Rally and Hot Money
- The local stock market is bullish and at its all time high above 1,500 points and what better way then to tell the public the economy is extremely good under his administration?
- Fortunately for Najib, foreign hot money has been pouring like there’s no tomorrow to this region thanks to weakening U.S. dollar. To attract more hot money the Bank Negara (Central Bank) can simply raise interest rate.
11) Najib’s approval rating at 72 percent
- Recent poll conducted by Merdeka Centre surprisingly revealed a jump in PM Najib’s approval rating – from 69% (Apr) to 72% (May).
- Most importantly the highest approval came from Indians (80%) who played major role in swinging their votes to the opposition in the Mar 2008 general election. The interview also saw Malays and Chinese approval rating at 77% and 58% respectively.
- Even Najib’s mentor Mahathir commented that the government should call for a snap election, if the reading is correct.
12) Anwar’s PKR is in disarray
- The party’s election may be over but claims over hanky-panky in the electoral process to ensure “Anwar’s people” emerge winners are still drumming.
- Forget about Zaid Ibrahim who withdrew from PKR number two race and subsequently quits all party posts. Whether he’s the Trojan horse is irrelevant because the damage has already been done.
- Najib cannot wait for PKR to rebuild itself over the time so he needs to call for a snap election soon
13) Khir Toyo charged with land fraud
- Controversial figure, former Selangor Chief Minister Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, has been charged with accepting two land lots for RM3.5mil when the said lots were bought by Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Haryoni for RM6.5mil.
- It’s amusing that Khor Toyo has the cheek to say it was “willing buyer willing seller” transaction so no form of corruption involved. Either his buddy Shamsuddin was stupid to buy high sell low or the former Chief Minister was happily insulting the public’s intelligence.
- Either way, this is another actor paraded by BN as an election ploy. Khir Toyo will not only be freed after general election but will get to keep his RM24 million mansion.
14) Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi tried (but refused) to apologise
- Given past scenarios pre-Mar-2008 general election, it would be easier to bring back Elvis Presley from dead than to get arrogant Malaysian Minister to apologise, not that they do now.
- Obviously the defence minister was trying (repeatitively) very hard to justify his statement that non-bumiputeras lack patriotism but it seems the word “sorry” just couldn’t get out from his mouth.
- A very close and loyal warlord of Najib, Zahid may realized that he may risk the non-Malays votes in his constituency hence his version of apology – I didn’t mean to hurt non-bumi feelings.
15) Sarawak Chief Minister tried to explain his Wealth
- Everybody knows Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is rich. What they do not know is how wealthy he is until whistle blower Sarawak Report began revealing reports about the political icon.
- The damage control – Abdul Karim Hamzah’s (chief political secretary to Sarawak Chief Minister) interview with Radio Free Sarawak.
- Unfortunately it was a disastrous interview, though amusing and laughable, when Abdul Karim justified that it is only “fair” that the Chief Minister should accumulate wealth in public office.
- Perhaps what he wanted to say was that since his BN counterparts in Peninsular have amassed so much wealth, it’s “not fair” that Taib sit quietly without catching up with them. Anyway the damage is not that extensive considering most of the ethnic groups in Sarawak are illiterate.
And what should you do with these signs? Get ready to sell your shares because the stock market would see selling phase due to profit taking by “big-boys” who need the money for the general election, not to mention stocks aligned to current administration may witness plunges should the opposition manage to march to Putrajaya.
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