February Roundup


February was expected to be a very eventful month, notwithstanding the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Politics take the fore in Malaysia during this time. There were strong indications that PM Najib was going to dissolve the Parliament towards the end of the CNY celebrations right around the 20th but that never happened. Electoral assistants were asked to prepare for a late March work as well as helicopters were being block booked for East Malaysian states.

We are now at the end of February and that announcement for GE13 is now touted to be announced in mid-April for a May General Election. Some say that this time it could be held during a weekday to discourage the turnout. Whatever the date may be, it is certainly an anticlimax for the long expected event.

What happened?

1. Psy Was Great, The Rest Was Not

The BN CNY celebrations brought in Psy to attract the large young crowd in Han Chiang school field. There was food and entertainment by Psy and BN provided the post-event entertainment with a YouTube circulation of “Are you ready for BN? No” clip. Then the fiasco of Teng attempting some feeble damage control to put BN deeper into embarrassment. Even the police came in support that Psy had a threat on his life and hence he did not participate in the Yee Sang toss on the stage. Strangely, Psy came on for his Oopa Gangnam Style to wow the crowd after that and even took a trip to the local Korean Restaurant. So much for giving an excuse. And implying that Penang is not safe.

Not a good performance by BN at all. Their intent was admirable but the execution and rhetorics negated all good intents.

2. Deepak Stirs The Dust

Next, Deepak started another string of revelations concerning Altantuya and declared the bosses of the convicted duo were behind the murder. Deepak was stirring up doubts that perhaps Najib was involved in the gruesome event. All Najib did was to verbalize a discredit of Deepak’s integrity without saying anything to douse the flames. Deepak launched a law suit against Najib on this alleged defamation. He has said to want to work with Bala (see below) for the common good.

Not a good time for Najib and Rosmah. Umno leaders may be flipping by now.

3. Bala Returns

Last Sunday, Bala whose infamous dual Statutory Declaration fiasco brought him national notice returned to Malaysia. He swore that his first SD is true and his second SD was done under severe duress and falsified led by Deepak (which he admitted). The resurfacing of Bala could have also threw Najib’s date out of balance. Bala says he will campaign for the Opposition and reveal more over time.

Not a good time for Najib and Rosmah. The Deepak-Bala combo may spell insurmountable trouble at this time for Umno.

4. Lahat Datu Problematic Fiasco

About 10 days ago, it was reported that over 100 men came from the sea to occupy Malaysian territory near Lahat Datu. The report claimed that they had weapons and the Police cordoned off the area keeping these “terrorists” under control. Our Home Minister, Hishammudin claims to want to negotiate a peaceful settlement but does a very poor job about this. On the other hand, he was very quick to deport a peaceful Xenophon, an independent MP from Australia. It was only yesterday that the Police finally came out to declare that the full force of the law may be used on these armed intruders. They really took their time. What were they waiting for?

It was reported that these intruders were subjects of the Sultan of Sulu and they are expecting to standoff with the Malaysian Government in their cause to review the sovereignty of Sabah. However, notwithstanding their claims, they arrived illegally breaching immigration laws, they are armed breaching national security laws, yet the Government was said to be negotiating a peaceful solution? Our Home Minister must be crazy and incompetent and after over 10 days, the Police finally agreed to consider the full power of our laws be brought against them.

Not a good performance by BN at all. Especially Hishamuddin, clearly Malaysia’s worst Home Minister by now.

5. Selangor BN Head is Najib

Next, PM Najib has just announce that he himself is the head of the Selangor BN. This was done to deflect the question of who the Menteri Besar should be for the BN if they win back Selangor. While this was danced around, they questioned the Opposition who the PM is expected to be if they were to win the GE. It is indeed difficult at this time for anyone to clearly declare who can be positioned for every position. Let the election take place and then that will shape up who the candidates will be.

This is recovery for BN in Selangor, a state they want to win back badly.

6. BR1M Given Out

This second round of BR1M was given out with BN fanfare and haste. It was Najib’s intent to build the good feeling of the voters and the local BN reps milked the event dry. Although this was a Government initiative, the BN component parties took to the school grounds to promote and incite the crowd to vote BN. Now who says BR1M is not political? If Najib waits till April to announce the dissolution of Parliament, he may lose the “feel good” emotions of voters by that time. Let’s see if voters are more mature than this.

People will take the money but will they vote BN? Such treatment of Malaysians are incorrigible.

7. National Ceramah Circuit by Najib Ends in April

Both Najib and Anwar have gone around the country with a string of ceramahs. It was reported that Najib will not want to announce anything regarding the General Election until this is completed. He wants to inform voters how well BN has done under his leadership and that they should continue to vote BN yet again to maintain status quo.

Anwar, on the other hand, has hit the trail with a number of Pakatan Rakyat’s list of speakers that everyone appears to want to come out to hear them out. Apparently, they do not need Psy to draw the crowd. Reports showed that they themselves can draw the crowd without any gimmicks. That should be the way. In fact, fund raising was usually held during these events instead of what BN does to give away freebies and food for attendees. It was also reported that hooligans were at a few of the Opposition events to cause havoc and throw them off their rhythm but so far, the Opposition seemed to have soaked up quite a lot of such nonsense.

With the backing of TV1, TV2 and TV3 for Najib on his circuit, the clips have attempted to show his prowess in rhetorics and build up a formidable positive impression for himself, not so much for BN or Umno.

With mega turnouts for Anwar wherever he goes, the curious Malaysians are now bolder to hear out the potential new PM of Malaysia. Crowds in the tens of thousands come out to hear Pakatan Rakyat dish out their piece to woo voters especially in BN heartlands of Johor and Pahang.

Crowd numbers do not equate to votes. But the trend is very similar to 2008.

8. Rhetorics Build Up

Dr M, Muhyiddin and Najib have all threw out rhetorical verbiage without basis to brush off the Opposition threats to take over the Government. They sweep aside the Opposition saying that the country will be bankrupted, that there will be a massive witch hunt, that the Opposition Leaders are not experienced nor credible, that Anwar was only fixated to be the PM, etc.

The Opposition seems to be more mature without retaliating in kind. They were more statesmanly pointing out issues and explaining how they can govern Malaysia more peacefully, more harmoniously and more importantly, more prosperously. BN leaders spout the standard spiel that without them, Malaysia will not have come this far and so Malaysians owe to BN to keep them in power to do what is needed to be done.

Such contrasting styles we have in the two primary groupings of political parties. Who will Malaysians listen to? Read How will Malaysians Vote for more insight on this item.

BN wins hands down. This has been a style well honed over the years but will it continue to impress the voters this time? Time will tell.

9. National Debt To Hit RM1 Trillion by 2020

The BN leadership and Dr M say that this is not a problem at all. The Opposition is saying that this will be disastrous for Malaysia. Now who is going to bankrupt the country? Under Najib’s rule, the National Debt has gone up by 50% in the four short years under his leadership. If the trend of spending continues, Malaysia will have a humungous debt posture with a highly detrimental international credit rating. Furthermore, a large portion of this debt is financed by EPF, another worrisome item for most Malaysians.

Malaysians clearly will lose. Everything will go up in price. Value of money will go down.

10. Pakatan Manifesto Revealed

Yesterday, Pakatan Rakyat unveiled their GE13 Election Manifesto. It was a joint declaration by PKR, PAS and DAP. Download the PDF copy here.. It is time Malaysians learn to dissect such manifestos and we await one from BN shortly.

The manifestos give us a very good indication what the parties plan to do if they come to power. Critics are saying the PR manifesto sounds good but may not be financially practical. PR says the money will come from a more prudent financial management and can be done if the Government is sincere and clean and to re-negotiate with various parties to recover monies for national development. Certainly, it is always easier to say than to actually do it. Given their track record in the states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan, we can safely say that if they put their mind to it, then this can be done.

What about BN? What are they saying they will do? More of the same in short. Carrying on what is being done. And what specifically are they?

BN needs to be very clear to the nation what they plan to do to match up with PR.

11. The Awards Of Large Contracts

Of late, the Government has been in haste to award billion Ringgit contracts for the construction of highways. Then comes the mega billion Ringgit high speed rail between Singapore and KL.

Next, we hear that Syed Mokhtar is interested in the rail project and also the taking over of Khazanah’s shares in Malaysia Airlines. We question the haste in which such large value contracts are awarded and why many are going to Syed Mokhtar who is already severely geared.

It is morally wrong for the Government who is going to lapse the mandate to lock up future financial commitments of the country. There is only a mere 2 months to go before the mandatory requirement of a general election be called if Najib does not call one earlier.

Certainly, there is a track record shown by Dr M a mere two months before he stepped down which saddled Abdullah Badawi, his successor, with committed projects. Najib is clearly following the same track now.

BN wins, Malaysians lose.

12. Campaign Is On Regardless Of Election Commission

BN has been hanging up banners and buntings as if the election campaign period has started. Only in Penang, a Pakatan Rakyat led state, has any action been taken on BN for doing so. Since, BN governs the rest of the states, one cannot miss the campaigning actions of the BN machinery now.

BN can do anything in Malaysia with impunity. Except in Penang right now.

13. Illegal IC Owners Voting

The presently on-going Royal Commission of Inquiry on the illegal issuance of ICs to unqualified people has sprouted doubts where else are these people located in the electoral roll. It is now well understood that such a problem cannot be eradicated before the next election and the Election Commission will not take any action until the RCI is completed with their report which will be a long time to come.

PAS has come out to warn such individuals to stay away from voting threatening repercussions if they do vote. Interestingly, comments from readers in MalaysiaKini showed that Malaysians are prepared to be vigilant to watch out for illegal voters during the time of election. How will this pan out will be interesting. But clearly, something must be done to avoid corrupting the votes by illegals.

BN denies hand in this but they are not anxious to do anything about it either.

Conclusion

This next General Election is going to be the mother of all elections in Malaysia. Be prepared for it. Come out to vote.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: