Sunday, February 18, 2007

Expect early general election

In Odyssey of Anwar Ibrahim? (2) I remarked on the possibility of the UMNO-led government thwarting Anwar Ibrahim’s political aspiration by announcing the date of the next general election prior to the end of ban on the former deputy PM participating in the general election.

Well, the Executive Director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), none other than Professor Emeritus Dr Mohamed Ariff Abdul Kareem, was quoted as saying that “the country's present economic position was most stable with all the domestic economic fundamentals showing positive recovery and the government should take advantage of the situation to call for a general election.”

I don’t know whether his assessment has anything to do with the recent spate of government’s good news, for example:

(1) that our trade figures have exceeded the RM1,000,000,000,000 mark,
(2) Rafidah Aziz crowing over FDI figures,
(3) the PM himself claiming a recent (but unidentified, uncited and non-attributable) study showed that Malaysians enjoy a high standard of comfortable and happy family life under his regime,
(4) mainstream media trumpets a rosy economic outlook (but cautioned by the Chinese business sector),
(5) DPM Najib attempting to assure us that the government did not cook up the country’s encouraging economic figures and indicators to boost public confidence, because the World Bank/IMF check them, though in the bumi equity figures, we remember distinctly their duplicity and even naughty fibbing to involve the World Bank as sanctioning their dodgy stats – please see Minister misled Parliament by false claim.

Anyway, before the Opposition rushes out to print their candidate posters and start collecting campaign funds, Rural and Regional Development Minister Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin poo-poo-ed the suggestion that the AAB government would dissolve Parliament to make way for an early general election.

He said there were other pressing matters that needed to be attended to, especially the recent launch of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), alluded to by many quarters to be funded by a Singapore source to the tune of US$50 billion dollars – for more of the US$50 billion tale, see AAB's zoo - but who's the zookeeper?.

He said: "The Ninth Malaysia Plan had only started last year and the people may be asking about the results of the plan whereas it takes two or three years before the results can be seen. Thus if we have an early general election, those with ulterior motives will make all kinds of assumptions on the plans implemented by the government."

However, Abdul Aziz back-pedalled slightly and said that while he ruled out such a proposal, it did not mean that he was afraid to face the general election.

Well ……..

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