The Final Leg Before The GE13 Finish Line


Malaysians expect the mother of all General Elections in the coming GE13. Both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) are pulling everything out of their hats to build a strong perception amongst voters in a yet to be called General Election.

This is the longest unofficial campaign period ever in the history of Malaysia’s elections. Ever since PM Najib took over the reins from Pak Lah, he has hinted to seek a mandate but has never dared to call for one, even until now. We are staring at the end of April 2013 as the automatic end of Parliament if Najib does not call for its dissolution earlier. For now, Negri Sembilan has gone into caretaking mode with the rest of the state parliaments following suit over the next month or two.

So, what can we expect now?

1. Najib’s Strong Closing and Finishing

Being the incumbent although without the so-called mandate, Najib will always be poised to pose a very formidable close to his reign as the current PM. His so-called “State of the Union” address last was designed to spew all kinds of numbers and stats to generate a positive impression of his government’s work-in-progress in all areas of social, economic and financial development. Of course, much of the realities are yet to be felt by the man-on-the-street regardless of how much he elevates the country’s progress. In fact, people feel that they are well behind financially and economically.

So, how is it that our PM says everything is beautiful and the people says huh?

Anyway, it is Najib’s call as when the next General Election will be held by the dissolution of Parliament. Many believes that the Agong has already consented and that Najib is just waiting for the “right” time which never seems to come.

As such, Najib continues on his pre-election campaign around the country with “Janji DiTepati” while Anwar draws large crowds wherever he goes. But the advantage is with Najib. His reign, his call, his time and his performance.

Today, Najib is BN and BN is Najib. That is quite a feat since none of the component parties including Umno is popular anymore with the voters. Najib must finish strong, in fact, very strong, in the coming weeks.

2. Awarding of Contracts before current term ends

One of the reasons the GE13 is still being delayed is that Najib is desperately trying to award as many crucial contracts as possible to parties linked to Umno. Whether they be highways, byways, railways, waterways, they will be awarded. Even defense contracts in LIMA were not left out with our Defense Minister saying more than RM24B RM4.2B are being worked on. Who knows how much more not announced, especially the really large items. Our two submarines were already passed the RM5B mark.

The good news is that if the Government is only issuing Letters of Intent (LOIs), it is still reversible if the new Government feels it being detrimental. Only when the Agreements are inked that the new Government must honor. And getting Agreements done in Government takes a while. Months, if not years.

However, given the impending end of term scenario, some agreements can be expedited to commit the funds. If this is done, then our coffers will be cleaned out before the next term can begin.

3. Candidate Selection

For the BN, it is Najib who appears to call out who the “winnable” candidates will be to represent the coalition. The jostling for seats and the dissatisfaction of grassroots and divisions have come to a serious breakpoint. If the incumbent goes, so will the gravy train. If the newbie takes over, so will his troops. What if there are more than one candidate vying for the seat? Will the thoughts of sabotage rule the day if their supported candidates are not chosen to be “winnable”?

There is also strong rumblings in the PR camp where the choice of candidates have seriously ruffled some incumbents as well as those who thought they will be automatic choice for some seats. Invariably, there is the bigger picture where the head honchos of PKR, PAS and DAP will decide for the greater strategic good over the work done by the most likely candidate. This will definitely include Chua Jui Meng who is eyeing a seat in Johor except that seat is now taken by Lim KS with the blessings of Anwar.

4. Offensive Position

Both BN and PR wants to take the offensive position because that is the only way to win the elections. BN has the upper hand with Najib going round the country touting how the BN Govt has met all its promises and the Opposition did not.

The PR crew has gone round highlighting the financial scandals and fiascos created by the BN and that seemed to have gotten the ears of the voters, at least their interest to know more. In today’s world, all the wrongs done by the Government can be known via the Internet and social media as well as the ceramahs that PR has been holding around the country. The Govt of the day cannot hide any longer nor censor such news although they still are doing that with the Main Stream Media.

The BN is now going overtime to launch sex videos purporting to be leaders of the Pakatan Rakyat leaders. So far, they have not caused any ripple and most people seem to feel that BN is devoid of any political substance to fight with. Najib has been throwing crumbs of BR1M etc to the voters while serious allegations of billions of Ringgit corruption are glossed over. This offensive position is actually offensive to the voters.

The PR, on the other hand, has clearly thrown in the gauntlet to capture Johor, the heartland of Umno and also the MCA. With the recent announcement of Lim KS standing in Johor together with a few other DAP, PKR and PAS imminent personalities, PR has taken a political offensive in the upcoming GE13. BN calls them names but PR is unfazed. This move has shocked and surprised BN more than any other moves by PR. And the Johor ceramahs have been extremely well received. Like it or not, the PR crew seems to have their political points well developed and the BN has made their job easier by the so-called scandals.

Whether Lim KS wins or loses the election, he has won because he has placed strategy above self and he is on his last term run anyway. He has seen it all and is a respected statesman. This should cap his recognition and grace from the voters.

5. Fear of Unclean Electoral Roll and Unfair Election

Bersih 2.0 stands tall on this one and it is also true that Malaysia will never have a clean electoral role for GE13 no matter who tries to shake this one. The Election Commission (EC) is subservient BN in everything they say and do although they try hard to disavow any political allegiance.

Even Rais says that the Opposition parties are arrogant for not accepting the gracious 10-minute airtime for broadcasting their pre-recorded manifestos. The arrogance claim should be placed on Rais instead because BN will never accept this 10-minute offer if the situation was the other way round.

Anyway, with phantom voters, double voters, postal voters, illegal voters all allegedly in the electoral roll for GE13, the only way to make it clean is to prevent illegal votes to be casted and must be stopped before they enter the ballot stations. It is probably up to the voters to do their part and this is the hardest.

6. Manifestos and Election Promises

As Musa Hitam rightly pointed out recently, no Govt taking over the helm especially for the first time will ever want to bankrupt the country. On the contrary, they will want to demonstrate that they are far better than the previous Govt in managing the financial, social and economic health of the country.

The PR manifesto sounds really great but can it be implemented? Maybe not all, as the finances and processes are not clearly known yet. They are major headers that need to be fleshed out if they ever win the General Election. But in principle, they can be financed and the country will not be bankrupted, in theory. But if the present Govt has spent more than their fair share, then any new Govt will have a tough time meeting their manifesto. Pak Lah knew this better than any other persons.

On the other hand, BN says they will only reveal their manifesto after the GE13 is called. This means they are still working hard to develop it and given the PR manifesto, the BN must revise theirs to counter, yet again. Usually, it is the Opposition that attempts to discredit the ruling party manifesto. But in this case, BN is the one criticizing as they are not yet ready with their own manifesto for the voters to consider.

This is another on-up for PR.

7. Tun M has spoken

Never before in the history of Malaysia that an ex-PM is held so high even above the current PM and the BN and Umno, in particular, dare not censure him although they wished he stopped talking.

The warning has been rung by Tun M that if Najib fares worse than Pak Lah, he should be prepared to be ousted. How can the PM have such a threat on his head? From his ex-boss too. And that is the truth in Umno. Precedent has been set by Najib ousting Pak Lah. It can happen to Najib himself too when the time comes.

It is unconceivable how tough Najib’s job is right now. Besides Anwar and PR, he has to fight with Tun M and his supporters within Umno. Furthermore, his “winnable” candidate list is certain to draw the worst out of BN members because you cannot please everybody this time. As such, Najib will only reveal the list closer to nomination day.

Conclusion

Truly, Najib is in an unenviable position. He has to deal with Tun M and Mukriz, Muhyiddin who is watching to take over, incumbent candidates and supporters who are no longer deemed “winnable”, the scandals and allegations popping up again, of course Anwar whom Najib wished he would just go away and stay away, and the rest of PR who seems to have many more very interesting and viable candidates with good standing and ability to choose from.

Nevertheless, the mother of all elections will dawn on us soon, whether by Najib’s call or by default. And we shall know in April.

In the end, it must be the people who decides who they want as Govt. In Malaysia, the people does not decide on who the PM will be. But vote we shall!

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2 Comments to “The Final Leg Before The GE13 Finish Line”

  1. You spend too much time with the Chinese and PR supporters.
    You should spend more time with ordinary Malay to really know their sentiment at the moment.

    I honestly agree with Chua Soi Lek that PRU13 is heading to two race system and not two party system.

    As an indication, you can look back at the pattern of last Sarawak election.
    DAP will emerge stronger with Chinese support while BN will get back Malay protest votes they lost in 2008.

    You may disagree with me but just wait for the outcome of PRU13.
    You have my email … so you can write to me if I’m wrong.

    • MDin

      Thanks for your comments. You are most welcome to share your views and though we may differ, we are still both armchair observers at this time.

      If the next election turns out to be a 2-race system, then Malaysia and Malaysians are heading for the worse instead of the better. Rascism is the hellish view of man preferring one over another, making people fight against others because of color of pigment of skin.

      I feel that the Malays are spreaded out between Umno, PAS and PKR with some for DAP. Most observers and my Malay friends feel that the Chinese will vote Pakatan Rakyat regardless of PAS or PKR being featured. And they feel most Malays who supports Pakatan Rakyat will vote DAP regardless. The bigger picture is in view.

      Now, this is at best a conjecture. How anyone will actually vote will be seen on ballot day.

      Don’t forget to vote, my friend.

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