89-Day Countdown to 13GE – Will Johore MB Ghani Othman be asked to retract his prediction?

Last evening, Bank Islam Malaysia distanced itself from its chief economist’s prediction in a Singapore forum that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can notch a slim win in the 13th General Election.

Bank Islam managing director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said in statement that the bank was not a party to the Singapore Regional Outlook Forum on Thursday , and “not related or involved in anyway in the event” and that the views expressed by its chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin were “entirely his personal view and should not be linked or attributed to Bank Islam whatsoever”.

At the Singapore regional forum, Azrul had computed that Barisan Nasional was likely to win only between 97 and 107 of the 222 parliamentary seats – yielding for a Pakatan Rakyat federal government a parliamentary majority ranging from eight to 28 seats.

Never mind whether Azrul’s projection is an official or unofficial estimate of Bank Islam, the fact is that this is a projection which UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders have also arrived at based on their own feedbacks, calculations and computations – indication that the 13GE is going to be a very close affair as to whether it is Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional which is going to win the race to Putrajaya.

The Johore Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Osman gave almost the same scenario as Azrul when he spoke to Kulai Chinese organisations on Tuesday, conceding that Pakatan Rakyat could win Putrajaya in the 13GE, although he warned that the most the Pakatan Rakyat could win would be a slim majority of 5% to 10% of the parliamentary seats.

Pakatan Rakyat winning a slim 5% to 10% parliamentary majority would range from PR winning 117 seats to BN’s 105 seats with a 12-seat majority (i.e. 5.5% majority) to PR winning 122 seats to BN’s 100 seats with a majority of 22 seats (i.e. 10% majority).

Ghani’s estimate that PR can win in the 13GE with a majority ranging from 12 – 22 parliamentary seats is very close to Azrul’s estimate that PR can win with a majority from 8 to 28 seats.

Will the Johore MB Ghani Othman be asked to retract his prediction that PR can win the 13GE with 5% to 10% majority or majority of 12-22 seats?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur