PSM MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar says the prime minister may dissolve Parliament by this weekend but others claim the polls are coming, but not so soon.
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional flags are beginning to appear in various places, sparking off speculation that the general election is around the corner.
And Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leader Dr Michael Jeyakumar did not rule out the possibility of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak dissolving Parliament by the end of the week.
The Sungai Siput MP said it would be the right time for the premier to do so since there was a feel- good factor prevaling for BN.
“Najib may do this to pre-empt the Bersih 3.0 rally [slated for April 28] as well,” he told FMT.
Jeyakumar said Najib might announce the polls by this weekend as he could convince the rakyat that he had fulfilled his promise to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) made last year.
The Dewan Rakyat had passed the Securities Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 yesterday which marked the end of the ISA.
The PSM leader said the premier also managed to score points by disbursing the RM500 aid to families earning less than RM3,000 a month under the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) programme.
“It’s not safe for Najib to wait any longer. The European economy is going downhill and China’s economy is slowing down as well. We may go through a recession next year,” he added.
However, Jeyakumar said it would not be possible for Najib to win a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
“He may win with a lesser majority than the one he has now,” he added. ‘The mood is swinging’ Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, however, disagreed with Jeyakumar’s assessment that there was a strong feel-good factor for BN at this point of time.
“The mood is swinging up and down among the masses,” said the Bandar Tun Razak MP.
He believed that the polls might be called sometime between May and June as it would coincide with the school holidays.
“If not , Najib may dissolve Parliament in September which is after Hari Raya,” he added.
Whichever date Najib chose, Khalid said, it was important for the premier to allow the Election Commission (EC) to clean up the electoral roll first before dissolving Parliament.
“And he must give enough time to all political parties to check the electoral list, at least between three and four months time,” he added.
Asked if he would dissolve the Selangor State Legislative Assembly as well if the national election was called, Khalid replied that it depended on the timing.
He said that it was important for him to ensure that programmes announced in the state budget last year were fully implemented before dissolving the state assembly.
“I think we should be able to implement our programmes by September. Nevertheless, I must consult my party leaders first before making any decision,” he added.
‘Dewan Negara must pass Bills’
DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran also echoed Khalid’s sentiments, saying it was unlikely for Najib to dissolve Parliament by the end of this week as the Bills passed in the Dewan Rakyat this week needed to be deliberated in the Dewan Negara.
“Dewan Negara must sit and approve the Bills. If they dissolve by this week, then the government must read all the Bills again at the Dewan Rakyat after the polls,” he said.
The DAP national vice-chairman recalled an incident in 1999 when then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had to re-table his budget after the election.
“Halfway through the budget debate, Mahathir dissolved Parliament and he had to table it again in the new session,” he said.
Contrary to Khalid’s prediction, Kulasegaran believed that Najib would call for the polls before September.
“But the longer Najib waits, he may need to deal with new uncertainties such as the weak global economic outlook,” he warned.
‘It depends on the boss’
Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek Husin also believed that Najib would not call for snap polls so soon.
“I don’t think so. It cannot be so sudden,” he said.
He also said that BN needed to “feel the mood” before dissolving Parliament and he personally felt that the mood was not there yet.
Declaring that BN was ready to face an election anytime, the Umno supreme council member also said that it was best if the general election was called by this year.
“But in the end, it depends on the prime minster to decide,” he said.
Commenting on the same issue, Information, Communications and Culture Deputy Minister Maglin Dennis D’Cruz said the Dewan Negara needed time to pass the new Bills.
“I believe the election will be called by the end of July. It depends on the boss [Najib],” he said.