Sunday 2 September 2012

Guan Eng to push for fixed election date

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said the date for polls should be fixed to promote certainty for the business community, reported The Star and Sin Chew Daily today.

His statement comes even as speculation continues over the date of the upcoming general elections, with such uncertainty possibly affecting investors’ confidence and hampering economic growth.

“At the moment, everyone has been kept guessing about the election date. This will affect the business community and disrupt their plans. Businessmen hate uncertainties,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.
“There should be a fixed date for the election cycle,” said the Penang chief minister.

Lim (picture) was reported as saying he will propose to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties to set a date for polls, if the opposition bloc comes to power.

He also said he will push for the date of all future elections to be fixed, noting that the Federal Constitution will have to be amended.

“Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament, I believe both those ruling and in the opposition will agree with this proposal,” he was reported as saying by Sin Chew Daily.

But he added that having a fixed polls date “is still at the proposal stage.”

Analysts have predicted that the prime minister would need to call for elections by year-end before Malaysia is hit by the full impact of any financial crisis.

Despite the gloomy global economy and weakening exports, the country performed well beyond expectations with a 5.4 per cent economic growth in the second quarter, providing a feel-good factor.

However, economists have pointed out that this is largely due to a buffer of ongoing construction projects and increased domestic spending following civil servant salary hikes and government cash handouts.

The Najib administration is expected to call for polls within months, hoping to capitalise on the feel-good factor arising from its reported plan to disburse another round of RM500 in cash handouts to lower-income households nationwide.

The Malaysian Insider has reported that the move, to be tabled under Budget 2013, is expected to boost the ratings of Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition ahead of federal polls.

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