Wednesday 15 August 2012

13th GE in September? - Selena Tay

September is the only avenue opened for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to call for the polls, the first under his leadership.

The month of September will be upon us in a little more than two weeks time. Some political observers are already discussing whether the 13th general election will be held in September and some of them have opined that September is still a possibility in order to catch Pakatan Rakyat by surprise.

Actually, September is the only avenue opened for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to call for the polls. In the field of detective work, it has been said that when all the possibilities have been eliminated, then that which remains is the one that clinches it.

Appended below is a month-by-month analysis right up to June next year:

1. October 2012 – the haj season is going on and if the general election is to be held this month, PAS will have enough reasons to shoot Umno down and the image of Najib as a Muslim leader will be torn to shreds.

2. November 2012 – the SPM and STPM exams are being held and school halls will be used.

3. December 2012 – end of the year brings floods to Kedah and Kelantan and the PAS state government in these two states will probably not dissolve the State Legislative Assemblies. This means that these two states will still be in PAS’ hands after the polls in December if it is to be held in December.

4. January 2013 – floods too and also the beginning of the school season and teachers will be busy. (Teachers are also required to participate in BN’s campaign rounds.)

5. February 2013 – Chinese New Year. It will not be feasible to anger the Chinese in this manner.

6. March 2013 – too close to full term which ends on April 28. The rakyat will be able to see clearly that the prime minister is not a confident man.

7. April 2013 – full term. Everyone will be able to see that Najib is cowardly and inefficient and is at last cornered and forced to hold the polls.

8. May to June 2013 – two months’ extension of time from April 28. Ditto as in April: cowardly and inefficient.

As such, whether Najib likes it or not, he has to call for the polls before Sept 17 before the haj season begins.

RCI on illegals

Having the polls in September will also prevent more Barisan Nasional lawmakers from quitting. Meanwhile, Najib has set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the problem of the illegals in Sabah getting MyKad, which has only now merited his attention.

Be that as it may, the prime minister is not really looking into the real problems that the nation is facing. Has Malaysia taken concrete steps to reinforce the economy before we are hit by the global economic downturn?
What is the federal government doing to curb crime and reduce the number of illegals landing on our shores? Seems that Malaysia is on autopilot.

Instead, the prime minister is busy mulling over when to call for the polls. Already there was a major failed attempt in June this year. It is called a “failed attempt” because in May he was telling those who attended the Umno 66th anniversary celebrations that he is thinking of seeking a royal audience in order to dissolve Parliament. But nothing came out of that.

Najib should get the gold medal in terms of being the world’s most indecisive leader.

Playing it safe

The BN government must get the country up and running by concentrating on economic and administrative matters and this can only be done after the polls are held as clearer policies can then be formulated.

Now everything is held up while our nearest neighbour Singapore is forging ahead in terms of investments.
The prime minister can still hold the election not later than Sept 17 by dissolving Parliament by Aug 27 the latest. A long-time political observer, who wished to remain anonymous, opined that Najib is the sort of person who likes to play safe in the sense that he will not call for the polls unless he is absolutely sure that he can win big and BN is absolutely ready for the polls.

“There is no such thing as 100% readiness although the prime minister seems unable to realise this,” said M Manogaran, DAP’s Teluk Intan MP.

In the recently-concluded London Olympics, a Russian diver and an American diver broke the Chinese stranglehold on the diving event because they had the guts to perform difficult dives when it mattered.

That is the hallmark of a champion and this is the quality that is sorely lacking in Najib. He does not have the courage and the conviction to go for the jugular.

“At the end of the day, Najib’s leadership qualities are in doubt as he does not have a clear mindset of where he is heading and in which direction he is leading the nation,” said PAS Kuala Selangor MP, Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Therefore in the 13th general election, Malaysians must decide whether to stick to the old and familiar BN and remain stagnant with a clueless leadership or be brave enough to go for change in order to improve and forge ahead to be a major player on the world economic stage.

By the way, this columnist is adamant that the polls will be held in September unless the prime minister wants to prove this columnist wrong.

Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.

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