46-Day Countdown to 13GE – Call on all Pakatan Rakyat not to be lulled into complacency

I call on all DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, members and supporters not to lulled into complacency into believing that the 13th general elections have been pushed to April and after, as it is still on the cards that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would dissolve Parliament in the next 12 days before the fifth anniversary of the March 8 “political tsunami” in 2008.

On January 9, I was first informed by “reliable sources” that Parliament would be dissolved on February 22, with the nomination and polling dates fixed for March 16 and March 30 respectively, following a high-level meeting of Najib’s political strategists in Putrajaya that day.

February 22 has come and gone without any dissolution, and although other February dates had also been speculated as likely dates for Parliament’s dissolution, it is now generally believed that there has been a further 13GE delay to dissolution in the middle of March and polling in second week of April, so that outstation voters would not return home to vote so soon after the annual Qing Ming festival or All Souls’ Day in early April.

Although the initial plans by Najib’s political strategists for the dissolution of Parliament on February 22 and in the last week of February had been scuttled, because of one political blunder after another by the Prime Minister during the Chinese New Year – most infamously the multiple political and public relations disaster in the multi-million ringgit invitation to the Korean K-Pop superstar Psy and Gangnam Style to Penang on the second day of the CNY – it is still on the cards that Najib could dissolve Parliament in the next 12 days before the fifth anniversary 308 political tsunami of the 2008 general elections.

Najib has also set two dubious records as Prime Minister, viz:

  • the longest Prime Minister without an elected mandate of his own;

  • Parliament under him serving out its longest tenure.

Is Najib so politically desperate that he really wants to set a third record on March 8 in being unelected Prime Minister with a Parliament which, for the first time in Malaysian history exceeded its five-year natural term, taking advantage of the Constitution which provides that the five-year term is calculated from the first meeting of the new Parliament and not from the previous general elections?

This constitutional subterfuge will gain Najib another 50 days to play around with to save his premiership.

If four years as the sixth Prime Minister cannot save Najib in the 13GE, can another 50 days for him to play around with save the day for him – and to go down in history as the Prime Minister who is so afraid to lose the premiership that he had to violate political norms and exceed the five-year natural life of Parliament?

I don’t think it is really worth it just to gain an extra week or month to dissolve Parliament in order to go down in history as the only Prime Minister who dare not seek a mandate from the people within Parliament’s five-year natural term – unless Najib is really convinced that he is heading for a fourth record as the last UMNO/BN Prime Minister fulfilling the RAHMAN prophecy!

For this reason, I think the dissolution of the 12th Parliament before March 8 next month is still very much on the cards.

Of course, Najib would not have second thoughts about dissolving Parliament now or in the last few days of February if his initial plans had not gone awry.

What was supposed to be Najib’s “secret weapon” to win back Chinese votes – the Psy and Gangnam Style performance at the BN CNY Open House in Penang - has proved to be an unmitigated disaster creating adverse repercussions nationwide.

It was not just one disaster but a basket of disasters – the nationally reverberating “3 Yes for Psy, 3 Noes for BN” public exchange, the five-minute “Toss Yee San” fiasco, Psy’s refusal to dance Gangnam 1Malaysia Style with Najib, Rosmah and Ng Yen Yen and the ludicrous allegations of death threat to Psy and Najib.

Najib has become so desperate that he is doing things he would not otherwise do, although there is no guarantee that he would not backtrack or renege from his commitments – just like what Mahathir did after the 1999 General Elections when he reneged on the Barisan Nasional’s support “in principle” for the 83-point Suqiu Appeals, accusing those who supported Suqui as akin to “communists” and “Al Maunah terrorists”.

Examples are:

  • his visit to the Dong Zong CNY Open House, first by a Prime Minister, but he went empty-handed – creating all-round disappointment that he would announce government’s comprehensive recognition of UEC as well as approval for the establishment of new Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Petaling Jaya, Puchong, Johore Bahru and Segamat; and

  • his signing of the Transparency International (TI) Election Integrity Pledge, although Malaysia under his premiership is the most corrupt when compared to the first five Prime Ministers.

Najib should know that there is no guarantee that any delay in holding the 13GE is going to be to his advantage, especially with more revelations of scandals under his premiership including exposes by private investigator P. Balasubramaniam and carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur