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Najib to surprise Anwar Ibrahim

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The 13th general election, when it will be held and who to vote for will surely be among the hot topics of conversation at the thousands of Hari Raya gatherings held across the nation this year.

Just days ago Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan ruled out October polls so as not to peeve Muslims, who do not want a clash with the Haj or pilgrimage season.

Mind you, it is still possible for Prime Minister Najib Razak to surprise his arch rival Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim by calling for polls in September although the chances of this happening are getting slimmer by the day.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders now believe that Najib will hold GE-13 in November once the Haj ends around October 26. By then the effects of the Budget 2013 that Najib is due to detail on September 28 would have begun to filter down to the people, they explain.

Just like the controversial Budget 2012, next year’s spending plan is expected to be a populist one with Najib likely to distribute a second round of BR1M – a cash aid for the elderly and the lower-income groups – in a bid to win the hearts and minds of voters.

Cookies and coffee, ‘kuih’ and ‘teh’

But no matter when GE-13 is held and the latest has to be by June 2013, it should not matter.

If Najib is trying to exploit the situation and hold onto power for as long as he can, he should tread carefully or suffer a huge voter backlash. Both voters and investors alike are upset and fed-up by the prolonged suspense. They want the uncertainty out of the way and to get on with their lives and businesses.

As for who to vote for – BN or Pakatan – that Mother of All Questions will surely be dissected over sumptuous rendang and lemang, cookies and coffee galore!

– Malaysia Chronicle