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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

VICTORY IS POSSIBLE: PKR 45 seats, PAS & DAP 40 each for 125 SIMPLE MAJORITY


VICTORY IS POSSIBLE: PKR 45 seats, PAS & DAP 40 each for 125 SIMPLE MAJORITY
The Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) forecasts a Barisan Nasional victory in the 13GE with an expected 123 to 135 seats ( i.e. a majority of 24 – 48 seats) and presented three possible outcomes for the 13th General Elections, viz:
Scenario 1: The present status quo remains, i.e. 140 Barisan Nasional (BN) seats as against 82 seats for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) following the March 8, 2008 “political tsunami” in the 12th General Elections.
Scenario 2: A reduced majority for BN, i.e. less than 58-seat majority after the 308 “political tsunami”; and
Scenario 3: BN regains two-thirds majority, i.e. winning at least 148 parliamentary seats or minimum of 74-seat majority.
There are however two other possible outcomes, predicated on a Pakatan Rakyat victory, viz:
Scenario 4: Victory for Pakatan Rakyat with narrow majority.
Scenario 5: Victory for PR with good and comfortable majority.
Scenarios 5 & 6 very plausible
The fourth scenario has been postulated by none other than the Johore Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman when he spoke to Kulai Chinese organisations early last month, conceding that the most the PR could win would be a slim majority of 5% to 10% of the parliamentary seats.
PR winning a slim 5% to 10% parliamentary majority would range from PR winning 117 seats to BN’s 105 seats giving PR 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).
In fact, Ghani’s estimate that PR could win in the 13GE with a majority ranging from 12 – 22 parliamentary seats is very close to the estimate given by the former Bank Islam Malaysia chief economist, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin at the Singapore Regional Outlook Forum last month that BN was likely to win only between 97 and 107 of the 222 parliamentary seats – yielding for a PR victory with a majority ranging from eight to 28 seats.
The fifth scenario is my dream results for the 13GE, i.e. PR winning with a good and comfortable majority of at least 125 parliamentary seats (i.e. a majority of 28) – with a distribution of 45 MPs for PKR and 40 MPs each for DAP and PAS.
Although UMNO/BN seems at present to enjoy an edge over PR, the 13GE is going to be a very tight race and the general election campaign itself will be the final determinant as to which coalition will win in the race for the Federal Government in Putrajaya.
That there is no surety that UMNO/BN is going to win the 13GE is best seen from the numberless flip-flops of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the past two years agonising on when to dissolve Parliament, as he is just not confident that he would not go down in history as the last Umno/BN Prime Minister to fulfil the RAHMAN political prophecy.
RM3.5mil Psy backfire
Early last month, Najib had thought he was ready to dissolve Parliament and hold the 13GE when he approved the “secret weapon” for the 13GE, spending RM3.5 million to invite the Korean pop superstar, Psy, to Penang for BN Chinese New Year Open House, to swing the electoral tide in his favour.
However, Najib lost such confidence when his Psy initiative was drowned in a sea of “No, No, No” not only in Penang but reverberating throughout the country since the political and public relations disaster of the first magnitude in the Psy and Gangnam Style appearance on Feb. 11.
The last University of Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (Umcedel) polls conducted between Dec. 26 and Jan. 11 reinforce the forecast that the outcome of the 13GE is too close to call, as the difference between those who believe BN can beat PR in the 13GE has been slashed from 25% in December 2011 to 5% in January 2013.
Respondents who believe that Pakatan Rakyat can take Putrajaya in the 13GE have steadily climbed from 18% in December 2011 to 21% in April 2012 to 30% in Sept. 2012 and 37% in Jan 2013.
In contrast, respondents who believe that Barisan Nasional can win the 13GE had fluctuated from 43% in Dec. 2011 to 49% in April 2012 to 44% in Sept. 2012 and 42% in Jan 2013.
Respondents undecided or unsure who could win the 13GE fell from 39% in Dec. 2011 to 30 per cent in April 2012 and 26% in Sept 2012 and 21% in Jan 2013.
On this Umcedel scenario, all that is needed for PR to beat BN in the race to Putrajaya in the 13GE is to win over more than five per cent of the undecided or unsure respondents, which stands at 21% in January 2013.
Latest headache
The latest Merdeka Centre poll on the Prime Minister’s approval rating is the new headache for Najib and his strategists.
In a poll between January 23 and February 6, just before the Chinese Year and his “Psy” disaster as well as the string of embarrassing developments for the Prime Minister (the continuing Royal Commission of Inquiry hearings in Sabah, the criticisms by private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan and former police chief Musa Hassan), Najib’s popularity rating has slipped down further two percentage points from a similar survey held last December.
According to Merdeka Centre, the decline is mainly attributed to a four-point drop in satisfaction among Malay voters, down from 77 percent a month earlier.
Chinese satisfaction with Najib's performance was at status quo at 34 percent, while Indian support dipped one point to 75 percent.
Najib's dissatisfaction rating has increased by two points to 32 percent - making it the highest since he took power in 2009.
March 8, 2013 will furnish the final test whether Najib is so lacking in confidence about the 13GE that he must brave the infamy of being the one and only Prime Minister in Malaysia to drag out Parliament’s tenure over its five-year natural term and to fall back on the constitutional provision to allow him another 50 days of “breathing space” as Prime Minister as constitutionally Parliament’s five-year term is calculated from its first meeting (i.e. on April 28, 2008) and not the previous general elections on 8th March 2008.
2013 tsunami to blow from south upwards
In 2008, the political tsunami in Peninsular Malaysia came down from the north with PR scoring victories in Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor.
In the 2013, the political tsunami must go up from the south, creating new breakthroughs in Johore, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Johore and Terengganu.
Pakatan Rakyat has set the 13GE goal of winning more than nine parliamentary seats in Johor, as together with breakthroughs in Sabah and Sarawak, to pave the way to Putrajaya in 13GE and more than 19 state assembly seats to deny UMNO/Barisan Nazional two-thirds majority in the Johor State Assembly.
Are these goals achievable?
Lim Kit Siang is the DAP adviser & MP for Ipoh Timur

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