Tuesday 4 September 2012

November polls? It’s stupid, says Nazri

There is no way the 13th general election will be held in November, not with an election Budget in BN's hands, says Minister in Prime Minister's Department. 
PETALING JAYA: The idea of 13th general election being held in November, as far as Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz is concerned, is ridiculous.
Nazri scoffed at attempts to connect the coming polls with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s favourite number: 11.
“Of course not! How can you have election speculations for November? It’s ridiculous. You don’t determine elections on the favourite number of the PM.
“To say it is [going to be] November, is stupid. The opposition is stupid [to say that]. I don’t care if whatever newspaper says it, FMT, Malaysiakini or pro-government newspaper, I still say it’s stupid,” he said.
This, Nazri said, was because an election in November would clash with the 2013 Budget, which is due to be tabled in Parliament on Sept 28.
The Budget, he added, would also have to be debated through the last Dewan Rakyat sitting of the year, which starts on Sept 24 and ends on Nov 27.
It would also have to be carried on for debate in the Senate – from Dec 3 to 20 – before it would be passed.
He said that if elections were to be called in November, it would mean that the Budget could not be debated and eventually passed.

‘Budget is our weapon’

Nazri confirmed that the coming Budget was one themed to suit the coming elections, and one to be utilised by his boss, the prime minister.
“The PM, being a shrewd politician, will no doubt [use this Budget as an] election Budget. There won’t be any other Budget after this.
“Only a stupid prime minister will not use this as an election budget. There is nothing wrong with that. Every PM in every part of the world will do that. This [Budget] is our weapon,” the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs said.
Nazri said that there was no point in trying to hide this fact, adding that it would be hypocritical of him not to admit to this.
He further explained that once the Budget is passed (in the Dewan Negara), it would take another seven to eight weeks before the its measures could be set into motion.
When queried on what appeared to be election-geared posturing by some politicians, Nazri said that it was normal for leaders to remind their followers – and in turn the election machinery – to be prepared.
“This is something we [Umno] have been doing for years. At divisional meetings, we will always talk to boost up the spirit. We will always tell them to be prepared.
“You can’t be blaming the PM or the Deputy PM for urging the grassroots to be prepared,” he said, claiming that Pakatan Rakyat and Bersih were merely “getting excited”.
He attacked Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga’s claim that Najib was delaying the polls for no reason, adding: “She’s a wannabe politician. All these things are new to her.”
On the subject of election terms, Nazri said that governments in Malaysia should not be given the advantage of calling for snap polls.
“Based on my principles, I think that every government should not be given the advantage to call for it at any time, like in the US and the UK. Five years means five years,” he said.
Najib appeared to strongly hint at elections in November at a recent speech in Sabah, uttering the number 11 several times.
He would also call Sabah as the Barisan Nasional’s “fixed deposit”, asking politicians there to defend this status.

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