Monday, July 30, 2012

GE 13 in 2013?

GE 13 in 2013?

RJ Rajah | June 5, 2012
By the looks of it, its seems that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is set to complete his five year term before calling for the general election.
After all, it looks like 2012 might not be the year of GE-13 and based on several indications the Barisan Nasional government might opt to complete its full term and hold the general election between January and April next year.
Even Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has become the front-line campaigner for BN and Umno has publicly advised that BN is still weak and that it is not appropriate to hold the general election now.
In his usual blunt style, Mahathir squarely blamed former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership debacles for the weak position of BN.
One of the key reasons why BN would opt to postpone the general election to next year is the fear that Pakatan Rakyat might not dissolve their respective state assemblies simultaneously with the dissolution of Parliament, thereby completing their full term in office until April 2013.
If the BN government chooses to dissolve Parliament anytime now, there is a strong possibility that the Pakatan parties would save their political energy and financial resources by not holding elections simultaneously for their respective state assemblies and this would involve the states of Kedah, Penang, Kelantan and Selangor.
As of now Pakatan parties are favoured to retain these states in the event a general election is held.
By not dissolving their respective state assemblies simultaneously, Pakatan would be able to concentrate only on the parliament seats and state assembly elections in other states where they are not in power.
This would create a dangerous situation for BN because instead of attacking the opposition in their respective states, BN would be pushed to defend the states currently controlled by them.
Vulnerable states such as Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu, Perak and Sabah might become the battlegrounds pushing BN to defend these states. Having finished the general election, win or lose, Pakatan parties would then pull BN for another fight in the states currently controlled by Pakatan.
Possibly it is for this reason that BN is reluctant to hold the general election in 2012 because it would put them in a political jeopardy. But if they drag the general election until next year, then Pakatan would have no choice but to have their state elections simultaneously as well.
BN’s advantages
BN would also have other advantages by holding the election in 2013. Since they are already in power, they would be able to correct several public perceptions and would be able to initiate and introduce several people-oriented programmes to attract votes.
The parliamentary session for the budget presentation would take place in September and this would give the PM as the finance minister another platform to announce many proposals and programmes with which they would be able to further attract some of the voting segments.
The BN government also needs time to enable them to cool down the impact created by the Bersih 3.0 rally and they might want to finish the hearings of the commission which has been formed under the chairmanship of Haniff Omar to investigate the complaints against the police in respect of the rally.
Since the electoral reforms introduced by the BN government have been withdrawn, possibly there would be another set of reforms that the BN might want to introduce in the next parliamentary session, before the general election is called. Such electoral reforms if introduced might also show BN’s sincerity in holding free and fair elections and thereby there would not be any more calls for Bersih 4.0.
Hari Raya Puasa falls on Aug 19 and 20 and the “Buka Puasa” sessions usually organised by government agencies and ministries during the month of Ramadan (July to August) would be another opportunity for the BN government to reach out to the public and civil servants and to mingle with them thereby carrying out subtle campaigning for BN.
Possible dates for GE 13…
Since the fasting month of Ramadan would commence around July 19 it is unlikely that the general election would be called before that, given the fact that the BN government needs time to correct certain public perceptions particularly relating to Bersih 3.0.
Once Hari Raya Puasa is over, the next possible month for general election would be September but the UPSR examination is commencing on Sept 11. Again it is unlikely that the general election would be called before Sept 11 as it would definitely disrupt the schools’ preparations for the examination.
The budget parliamentary session would also take place during the month of September and the BN government might not want to miss this golden opportunity of dishing out some goodies for the rakyat in the name of Budget 2013.
Hari Raya Haji falls on Oct 26 and if the election is held during this month, BN would have to face the wrath of PAS leaders who would criticise Umno and BN for holding elections while many Muslims are away in Mecca performing their Haj pilgrimage.
To make matters worse, the PMR examination is also scheduled to take place during the month of October.
During November, the SPM and STPM examinations would be held in a long stretch and again holding the general election during this month is also out of the question.
In Malaysia, general elections are not held during the month of December because of the monsoon season in the East Coast states of Peninsular Malaysia. During December, some east coast states including Johor are prone to floods .
Therefore, all the factors put together indicate that the GE-13 would only take place in 2013!
RJ Rajah is an observer and writer on Malaysian politics and social issues.

Next Malaysian general election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GE13: Can we make history?

Selena Tay | May 16, 2012
We must now make a historic choice of a lifetime as we are standing on the threshold of a new beginning.
It looks quite certain that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will be calling for the 13th general election (GE13) without the voter rolls being cleaned up.
And what can we as the citizens do about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nil. Zero. Except to come out in full force and vote and make a big hue and cry if our name is not on the voter rolls on polling day.
Even the Election Commission (EC) is now openly siding with Barisan Nasional when the top two officials ought to resign with immediate effect. The EC has lost its credibility and integrity because it is no longer seen to be neutral and impartial.
In the meantime, why is there still no word from the EC in regard to the cleaning up of the dirty voter rolls? Why is the EC still silent on this matter? And, more importantly, why is Najib also keeping quiet on this issue?
Instead, the focus on Bersih 3.0′s demands had been shifted to the so-called rioting caused by its participants on April 28.
The prime minister no doubt now has only one thing on his mind and that is the date of the forthcoming national polls. He is mulling over when to call for the polls and he is pre-occupied with this day and night.
Let us take a look at the dates in question which have been rumoured to be the polling date:
First of all June 9. If he wants to hold the polls on June 9, he must dissolve Parliament this month.
“Dissolving Parliament before the celebration of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s birthday on June 2 is not a very proper thing to do as it shows disrespect to His Majesty,” said PAS MP for Shah Alam, Khalid Samad.
Next date is June 16 and the above reason still applies.
The third choice is June 23. If the polls are held on June 23, he can dissolve Parliament on June 3.
Therefore, all the Saturdays from June 23 onwards are suitable until just before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan which begins on the third week of July.
After the month of July, he can only hold the polls in the third week of November when the Muslims return from their haj pilgrimage. But then he has the Umno party polls to contend with at that point in time.
Therefore, the dates from June 23 to July 14 are the most suitable. But if the general election is held before the voter rolls are cleaned up, then Najib’s victory is a dirty win and many of us will be robbed of our votes in the scam called “The Theft of Putrajaya”.
What can the citizens do when the powers-that-be use electoral fraud to remain in power? Is there any law to nullify their victory? How can we obtain justice against electoral fraud?
The Pakatan preparation
Meanwhile, what of Pakatan Rakyat’s preparation for the polls?
The seat allocations have more or less been ironed out and as there is to be a fairer representation this time around, it is hoped that an Indian candidate will be given a seat to contest in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
DAP has to take the initiative for this effort and this will go a long way in getting the Indian support for Pakatan in other states. Indian votes are crucial and must be given due recognition.
Pertaining to Sabah and Sarawak, it is pointless to contest too many seats as what PKR did in the 10th Sarawak state election last year by contesting 49 seats and winning only three.
Spreading oneself too thinly takes up too much time and resources. It is not worth it to take two or three days to go into the interiors and at the end of the day ending up as the loser. Best to focus one’s time and resources on seats wherein victory is possible.
As for Penang and Selangor, there is no point in dissolving the State Legislative Assembly due to the extremely dirty voter rolls, especially as BN is eyeing Selangor like a hawk and there is more than 300,000 dubious voters in Selangor.
The only thing for Penang and Selangor to do now is to spend in the interests of the rakyat as this will help in getting the votes for the parliamentary seats in those states.
It is time to head to the battle-stations. Pakatan must be ready so that when BN shouts “War!” Pakatan can fire the first arrow. The great battle is about to begin. We are now at the crossroads.
Either we go for a great change or forever be doomed to oblivion. The people of Malaysia must now make a historic choice of a lifetime as we are standing on the threshold of a new beginning.
But first a few questions need to be asked: Should there be Bersih 4.0? If yes, when? And what if electoral fraud cannot be stopped?
Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.

GE-13 before Malaysia Day (09-16-12)?

by Jahabar Sadiq
Editor, The Malaysian Insider
The Najib administration is looking at a snap election in September before Malaysia Day if it goes through with a plan to dissolve Parliament next month, sources and analysts say.
The Malaysian Insider understands that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s aides and Barisan Nasional (BN) officials have briefed a number of people on the plan to hold elections between Hari Raya Aidifitri which falls on August 19 and the proposed Budget Day of September 28. Malaysia Day is on September 16.
“Snap polls are likely before September 16 so that will give enough time to table the Budget 2013 on September 28 if BN retains Putrajaya,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.
But he pointed out that Malaysia’s Budget Day has traditionally been on the last Friday of October and has been pushed back in recent years due to the Aidilfitri festivities, the celebration at the end of the Ramadan fasting month for Muslims. More than 60 per cent of Malaysians are Muslims and it is the country’s official religion.
Another source said the September date will also allow Muslims to go for their Haj pilgrimage which falls on October 26 and has been a bone of contention among several political parties, who say it will deprive the quota of 20,000 Malaysian Muslims their right to vote.
“We heard snap polls are in September and factoring this into our analyses,” a Singapore-based stock market analyst told The Malaysian Insider, noting that the Election Commission (EC) had briefed representatives of all political parties last week.
Najib has been cagey about the election date although he expressed confidence in winning all state governments and the federal government. His BN controls Putrajaya and nine states while the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) rules Kedah, Kelantan, Penang and Selangor. PR lost Perak in February 2009 when three lawmakers turned independent, which was enough for BN to capture the state.
In his Pekan constituency yesterday, Najib said BN had yet to finalise its candidates for the upcoming general election.The Star quoted Najib as saying, “The list will be finalised when the time comes. Everything else is just speculation.” He said this when asked about a report saying he had rejected half of the names submitted for the list.
The report stated the candidates were omitted for reasons including being under scrutiny from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Police, as well as being party stalwarts dropped to make way for younger candidates.
“We are still flipping through the names, checking and checking again,” the UMNO President told reporters.
Despite his comments, BN sources say they have already taken containers of coalition paraphernalia such as T-shirts and posters from warehouses in a few ports for distribution to all state chapters and divisions. It is learnt that some of the material was imported from China and Indonesia.
BN strategists are using Najib as the cornerstone of their campaign with banners, billboards and buntings featuring his face being strung along major roads and buildings in the capital city and other parts of the country. The KTMB commuter train has also had his face emblazoned on its carriages while party and coalition websites have his photos displayed prominently.
“Najib is popular. The last Merdeka Center survey has him with a 65 per cent popularity rating and he is reaching out to all demographics,” a BN strategist told The Malaysian Insider.
When BN called elections in 2008, then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi’s popularity rating was at 71 per cent but he lost the coalition’s customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and four states.
Najib, who is seeking his first mandate at the polls, has been touring the country in his Jelajah Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled Tour) over the past few months and is due to visit Kelantan and Terengganu soon for the campaign. Ironically or coincidentally, Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled) is also the theme for this year’s National Day on August 31.
PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had also predicted snap polls after Aidilfitri, saying BN was likely to take that opportunity as most voters would not be able to return to their state constituencies mere weeks after the Muslim festivities.The annual Aidilfitri celebrations are usually when Malaysians who work in urban areas return to their hometowns or villages to celebrate the occasion with their families.
“We expect BN will use the opportunity to hold elections after the Aidilfitri holidays. When this happens, voters will think thoroughly to return to their hometowns to vote just after returning from their holidays,” he told the Islamist party organ Harakahdaily in Rabat, Morocco.
Nearly 13 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots if a general election is called involving all 222 federal seats and 505 seats in 12 states. However, the four PR-ruled states have yet to say if they will hold elections the same day as the general election as their mandates only expire next April. Sarawak has already had its state election last year.

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