Home  >  Opinion

GE14 to be held next year? I think so

  • Was the PMO clarification a pre-emptive move of sorts? And has the PMO in a way let the cat out of the bag? I can only guess.

By Mohsin Abdullah

For months many people have been saying the next general election i.e. GE 14 will be held next year. Some even predicted the government will call for polls as early as March 2017.

This they say is because the Najib administration is feeling confident having the morale boosted by the by-election results in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar not too long ago, and the Sarawak state election victory obviously.

So quite a number of Malaysians--politicians and non-politicians alike--expect the BN government will ride on the wave so to speak. And BN somehow played along and gave such an impression.

Of course, there are people who say despite the bravado and public display of confidence, the BN is not ready for early polls. Still generally many believe rather strongly general election will be held next year.

Then suddenly a few days ago Reuters ran a story which said prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is opposed to holding early election before the 2018 deadline. (As we all know BN's current mandate to rule the country is from 2013 to 2018).

Najib was reported to have said that when he met the media in Germany where he was on a working visit recently.

Apparently the PM was responding to a question on whether there would be an early election due to issues surrounding 1MDB.

Reuters reported that Najib opposed to calling for an early election before the deadline and said such a decision should not be based on "any single factor".

The international news agency also quoted Najib as saying: "We rest on our record. We have a strong record and we will continue to tell the Malaysian people that our government is still the best choice."

Then a day later the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement to what it said, clarify news reports that the PM opposed early election before the 2018 deadline.

According to the PMO, what Najib said was the holding of elections is not due to any single factor (I believe he was referring to the 1MDB issue).

If you ask me, that is the same thing reported by Reuters.

Anyway, the PMO went on to say that Najib also said: "It must be predicated on the basis that we have good policies in Malaysia,.we are delivering (results) for the benefit of the people and we are the best government to lead Malaysia into the future."

"We have a strong record and we will continue to tell the Malaysian people that our government is still the best choice." That's how the PMO clarification was reported by state-owned news agency Bernama.

Interestingly before the PMO statement was issued, MyKMU, a pro-Najib portal, posted in its Facebook page that media reports on Najib saying election will not be held before 2018 "is a lie and manipulation of facts".

The portal claimed that a source in Germany had told them Najib's statement to the media was taken out of context.

It then posted remarks similar to the clarification made by the PMO.

I take it that what the PMO and MyKMU wanted to clarify was that the PM did not say election will not be held before 2018.

That to me should not be disputed. Personally I feel it's "odd" that the government would wait right until the deadline to call for election, considering the "risks" involved.

Therefore, by clarifying the PM never said anything that election will not be held earlier, perhaps the PMO and the pro-Najib portal can be seen as "suggesting" that in the event of Najib calling for election next year, i.e. before the 2018 deadline, he should not and cannot be accused of going back on his words.

Am I right to assume that?

Was the PMO clarification a pre-emptive move of sorts? And has the PMO in a way let the cat out of the bag? I can only guess.

(Mohsin Abdullah is a freelancer who writes about this, that and everything else.)

 

Copyright © 2017 MCIL Multimedia Sdn Bhd (515740-D).
All rights reserved. Contact us : [email protected]