Malaysia enters 2012 with many uncertainties but also with many certainties. We are looking at interesting times this year for sure. Let’s take a quick look at what lies ahead.
- RPK an Umno blogger? His interview in Singapore has been set ablazed by the MCM to haunt Anwar and PKR. Rumors are running rife that he has been bought by Umno and is given a free pass home to Malaysia. Is that so? It can be true or it can be a game to toy with Umno. RPK is not stupid and neither are we Malaysians. We shall see and time will tell the truth about this matter.
- General Election in March? This is Najib’s guessing game since he took over the mantle from Badawi. He has tried to prepare for a sure win and majority win so that he gets the sure mandate from the people but more so from Umno itself. Each time the GE was supposed to happen, something happens to shoot down his chances. And it is getting harder with each scandal exposed. Perhaps with RPK appearing friendly to Umno and against Anwar will spur Najib to call for the GE13 in March. Again, we shall see. The moment Najib calls for GE13, RPK can switch roles and play something else. Who knows?
- Najib remains as PM? This is uncertain. It depends on him winning the GE with at least 2/3 majority as anything less will spur a push to retire him by internal Umno forces. Much like what happened to Badawi in 2009.
We do know some things that will happen in 2012 in Malaysia. You don’t have to be a seer to know for sure.
- Anwar will be jailed? Come January 9, the judge will give his verdict for the Sodomy II case. We can know for sure that Anwar will be found guilty and jailed for the second time. From what we can tell, this is inevitable as it will throw the opposition Pakatan Rakyat into disarray without the “glue” and paves the way for a “safe” GE13. It is an open secret that Najib needs to put away the thorn in his side at all cost so that a weakened Pakatan will allow BN to have a better shot at the GE to win with 2/3 majority.
- Economy will further weaken? Contrary to Najib’s forecast of a 5% to 6% growth in GDP in 2012, we are sure to face a weakened economy due to a sharp drop in electronic exports because of softening demands in the US and Europe. Unless there is a miraculous turnaround of events to rescue the EU financial crisis, Malaysia will see a severe weakened export balance of trade.
- Oil will remain above US$100 a barrel? This is most likely given the middle east turmoil in Egypt, Libya and Iran. Not forgetting an unstable Iraq, there is just too much tension to stabilize the oil price.
- Inflation will grow? We expect Najib to announce a further hike in pump prices leading to another round of consumer goods prices soaring again spiking inflation. If Najib wins the GE, we will expect the GST to add to the inflationary pressures and fuel its rise as well.
- Scandals will continue to be exposed? As long as there are serious allegations that Pakatan or BN can dig up, we will hear of more exposes. Mostly from Pakatan with bold whistle blowers passing sensitive secret information regarding the excesses of various Umno personalities.
- Sunset for various personalities? We can be sure that people like Ibrahim Ali, all the BN friendly independents (kataks) and unwinnable candidates deemed by Najib will all fade into the oblivion after GE13.
- 1Malaysia remains a slogan? Definitely an active word that spills out of all MCs, speakers and civil servants in their Selamat 1Malaysia, whatever that means. Or it will be remembered as a has-been catch word that never quite made the reality. Or it will go into history as a PM invention that had everyone stumped as to what it really means, including Najib himself as the definition is so nebulous that it can change as time wore on. It is no longer interesting to talk about 1Malaysia. Meaningless, really.
- Same problems in Government? As we all know too well, doing the same thing will never get different results. With Umno and Najib, they have become predictable. They keep pushing for their own agenda and tell Malaysians those agendas are defending them or some groups of Malaysians. They will say that all is well even when it is not. Doing positive spins on an ailing economic situation will never turn things around. But there will be more of the same old, same old for sure.
- Malaysians are smarter voters? For sure. From city dwellers to the kampung folks, Malaysians will not be taken for a ride any longer. Rumors has it that the ABU movement has broken through into the BN backyard. If true, the Malaysian savviness is far greater than anyone of us can imagine. Malaysians have matured these few years to know what they need to do to correct the wrongs done.
Of course this is a list for us to chew on. There is obviously no doomsday prophecy for Malaysia but the current path we are moving along spells lots of grave dangers ahead. If we respond well, there is still a lot of good to come in our future. If we are led to believe we are well when we are truly sick, then the Government has not discharged their responsibilities honorably and failed the people.
We are living in interesting times indeed. Let’s watch and when it is time to vote, do not fail to fulfill your right as a Malaysian.