Election Coming Get ready – Najib’s target of a reclaiming a two-thirds Parliamentary majority.
Well it looks like the polls are imminent, with the massive Barisan Nasional machinery cranking to a start after nearly five years running on idle.
Of course, there have been cases in the time between the 2008 general election and now when the rumour mill had churned out several potential, but ultimately wrong, dates for when Malaysians go to the ballot boxes again.
Just like those times, insiders within the ruling coalition have been whispering of plans by their president and Prime Minister Najib Razak to dissolve Parliament.
The talk now is that the nation’s chief executive intends to make the announcement sometime this coming May, to make way for a June polls date.
Unlike those other times, however, there appears to be a lot more happening out in the open to indicate that it would not be too far-fetched for a mid-year general election.
The latest clue is the recent announcement by Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor, that the party could potentially have a lineup of fresh-faced “winnable” candidates based on the lists of proposed candidates submitted by all divisions as at April 2.
Tengku Adnan, who at the same time sits as Barisan secretary-general, also called on Umno’s coalition partners to submit their respective candidates’ lists by the end of this month.
Another telling sign of a Government getting ready to hit the campaign trail is the not-so-subtle increase in pro-establishment propaganda.
Opposition-bashing aside, mainstream newspapers have been putting a lot more attention on the promises “delivered” by Najib and his administration, singing praises of the much touted Transformation Plan and the abolition of the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA), among other things.
Sources in mainstream dailies claim that their editorial desks have all been having marathon meetings to strategise their election coverage in anticipation of a June polls date.
Also worth taking note is the recent emergence of a spate of television advertorials produced by Astro Awani, which have been taking prime time slots on the country’s only satellite pay television broadcaster, Astro.
Dubbed Suara Kami, the series of promotional ads show scenes of regular Malaysians recounting how they are grateful for the Government’s help in their careers, which, based on the visuals, mainly comprised of agriculture.
The advertorials have been getting daily airplay for much of this month, and a Facebook page has even been set up to get more Malaysians to share such “stories” with the rest of the country.
With its reach going as far as the crucial rural voting base, it makes sense to use Astro as a launch pad for a pre-polls campaign drive.
But while the impact of such advertising is arguable, what is clear is that Barisan is psyching itself up to hit the mattresses.
Also lending credence to the speculated June date is the speed at which the Government has dealt with several key issues that have often been used by the opposition to paint the former as a backwards dinosaur bent on keeping Malaysians in submission.
After so many years of being at loggerheads with the opposition bench, it didn’t take a year for Najib’s administration to repeal the ISA – though detractors claim that the new bill to replace the old law, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012, is potentially worse.
Likewise, it only took several months of work by a Barisan-led Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) – albeit an intensive several months worth of meetings and public consultation – to come up with a list of recommendations to improve on the country’s electoral process.
Despite this, Government opponents slammed the committee for not including all eight of the demands put forward by Bersih 2.0, whose rally for electoral reform in July last year was marred by claims of police brutality.
Unhappy activists are planning another rally, dubbed Bersih 3.0, this time a sit-down event at Padang Merdeka in the city this April 28.
The authorities seem to have learned their lesson, offering from the get-go to “negotiate” terms with the protesters in what is seen as a bid to avoid suffering a severe backlash as what happened due to the way Bersih 2.0 was mishandled.
And bad press is the last thing a Government would want, if it’s planning to go back to its “winning” ways and achieve Najib’s target of a reclaiming a two-thirds Parliamentary majority.
Source : Yahoo News