A prediction for 2011

9 May


JAN 3 — Celebrating the coming of the New Year with my family at a restaurant near KLCC, I found the traffic was actually great in the sense that it was light. Yes, I saw revellers walking on the streets as I drove by but their numbers were not overwhelming.

Watching the traditional five minutes of fireworks from an oblique view next to KLCC at midnight, my own feelings were that I was happy my older children were able to return from London for the holidays to celebrate with us.

Nevertheless I felt that the celebrations by the people this year were a little muted. Perhaps there are more venues to celebrate in Kuala Lumpur these days but my own gut tells me that many are unsure of the future and are not in a good mood.

The latest news is that the prime minister will call all the Barisan Nasional (BN) members of Parliament to give their views on their constituencies on January 8. Many would say that this is a prelude to an early general election in the first half of 2011. I disagree. My prediction is that there will be no countrywide general election in 2011.

The Tenang by-election in Johor, to be held on January 30, will likely see BN retain its seat as the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) machinery in the state of Johor is weak as opposed to a competent BN machinery already in place and active there.

Sarawak will have its election in the next couple of months and I predict that the opposition PR will add a couple of seats but the BN will have a comfortable win of about at least three-quarters of the Sarawak state assembly.

Nevertheless, I do not believe the PM will dissolve the government in 2011. The main reason is that the PR-controlled states will not dissolve their own state assemblies as they know that it would be difficult for them to win the federal government at the moment.

The best strategy for PR is to hold on to their own states till the end of their term. If the PM dissolves Parliament early and PR do not, PR will have a strong psychological advantage in that they don’t have to defend their own territories. The PR can then focus on trying to win an additional state or two and who knows the tactical advantage may even land them the whole government.

The PM wouldn’t want to give PR this tactical advantage. Unless he is able to ensure that all the PR-controlled states will also dissolve should he dissolve Parliament early, he will probably hold out to late 2012. While some may argue that there may be a way to force the PR states to dissolve, my thinking is that it will be challenged in court, and it is probably not a good idea for BN to have such a major constitutional issue hanging over its head going into a general election.

Though I predict that there will be no general election in 2011, I have encouraged my children to register as voters when they came back on holiday this time. I certainly hope that all those who are eligible do the same too so that they will be able to exercise their democratic right when the time comes.

The registration process is simple. Bring your identity card with you to the post office where the computerised form will be filled up for you and all you need to do is check that the details are correct and sign. It should take about five minutes, after which you leave with a copy of your form.

While I stand by my political prediction, I have no doubt that 2011 will be charged with election fever. It is probably best to focus on the jobs and businesses that we already have and leave the politics to the politicians.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

 

via http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/article/a-prediction-for-2011/

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