PM Najib finally announced the dissolution of Parliament this morning in an 11:30 am televised broadcast. The Election Commission has 60 days to arrange for GE13. Meanwhile, all states with the exception of Sarawak (last state election in 2011) and Negri Sembilan (already expired) are now expected to proceed with their own dissolution immediately to enable the GE13 to conduct both Federal and State elections at the same time.
This is the end of the 4th year of Najib as PM and today will also mark the last Cabinet meeting.
Malaysians sigh a relief as this has been the longest guessing game to call GE13 and the country has been on campaign mode since Najib took over from Pak Lah in 2009. All projects and activities have been short term aimed at appeasing the voters to ensure a good feel to encourage a stronger support of BN in the election. That is why there has been so much giving away monies to the public and the last being to the Petronas staff yesterday.
But finally, the time has come for Malaysians to reckon with their future again at the ballot box. Will they give the mandate back to BN or go for a change in Govt with PR? We shall soon know.
Some interesting things to consider.
1. Will BN be returned to power yet again?
Najib has gone to his utter extreme to try to make this happen. Not only a win but a 2/3 majority or else his Party Presidency will be in jeopardy just like Pak Lah whom he replaced. He has pushed like no other PM has fought for survival before as the Opposition appears to be the most formidable in history at this time.
Apart from ensuring his “winnable” candidates are nominated, he has to fight off allegations of scandals and Tun M on his back with his DPM Muhyiddin waiting anxiously to replace him. He is in a most unenviable position.
As there is a chance that BN may lose, Najib has reassured a smooth transition of power during this morning’s announcement. This may be his last televised broadcast as PM for now. He is raging hard for a win and win it bigger this time round.
2. Will Malaysians give PR a chance as Federal Government?
There has been an unprecedented groundswell of turning the tides of power to give PR a chance because of many reasons. Malaysians have gained new access and insight to all the excesses of the BN Govt like never before and the new voters are Internet savvy people who glean from others in the social media. Will they be able to decide for PR because this bloc is a very sizeable group of voters.
With the ceramahs and news online as indicators and without any racial prejudice, almost all are of the opinion that PR has the best chance of a lifetime to win the GE13.
3. Will most of BN component parties be wiped out?
The PPP was washed out in GE12 while Gerakan, MCA, MIC were all pared down to below size. However, the parties in East Malaysia held their ground formidably.
In this GE13, many feel that Gerakan, MCA and MIC in particular will see a retribution by the voters that may wash them away. A recent report of an MCA leader appealing to voters not to let them eat egg, a reference of getting zero seats, shows the fear of a total wipeout in this coming election.
Even the parties in East Malaysia cannot sit pretty this time and have to fight for every seat as the PR and associated parties are gunning Sabah and Sarawak without which they will have almost no chance of forming the next Govt.
Will Sabahans and Sarawakians vote them out? It will be hard fought but if the many eligible voters who are working in the Peninsula Malaysia and Singapore do not manage to catch a flight home to vote, we may very well see BN retaining power.
4. Will there be public debates between Najib and Anwar?
This has been a constant hope of most Malaysians who want to hear Najib and Anwar in the same stage pitching their propositions to the voters. Perhaps we have been too influenced by the US Presidential debates but surely our leaders and potential leaders can tout their offerings against each other maturely and effectively too. But this may remain a fantasy for a long, long time.
5. Will this be the keenest fight in Malaysian election history?
Most definitely. BN has all to lose and PR has all to gain. Regardless of all the allegations of gerrymandering, defective electoral roll, phantom and postal voters being moved to strategic constituencies, BN still have to fight all the way all though the advantage is for them with the way the constituencies are cut.
Hopefully, they will fight with grace and dignity without resorting to violence in some of the recent ceramahs. This shows signs of desperation by all counts.
We also await the BN manifesto which they tout as the best yet to be prepared, especially now that PR has announced theirs.
Selangor has alleged that over 100,000 new voters are not found at their addresses according to the electoral roll. Some constituencies like Lembah Pantai has seen a significant rise in new and postal voters. Perhaps these are ways to prevent PR to win again but it will be sad if BN is really resorting to such means to defend their turf.
And finally, let the campaign begin soon and may the best win the votes and form the next state and federal government – whether BN or PR – and be done in peace and honor of Malaysians.
1. BN for more of the same, new names, new packaging, promising evolving changes after 56 years
2. PR for a change in governance and accountability, promising new hope and radical changes immediately
Whichever party you eventually vote for, remember to make the effort to vote!