Sunday, July 4, 2010

DAP joins the imminent polls chorus

Humayun Kabir, Jul 3, 2010, 2:41pm

The DAP is putting its money on snap general elections, including Sarawak's, being held by September or October based on their reading of the feel-good factor being projected by top Umno leaders.

Party national vice chief and Ipoh Barat MP M Kula Segaran (right) hazarded this prediction in his speech at a Tamil dinner organised by his division at Dewan Han Kang, SJKC Yuh Hua in Ipoh last night.

The two-hour function was attended by about 1,000 residents from the Buntong area and six top DAP leaders of Penang chief minister and party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Penang deputy chief Minister professor P Ramasamy, party supremo Lim Kit Siang, party state chief Ngeh Koo Ham and party state vice chief A Sivanesan.

Kula said he based his forecast on the prediction of Monash Malaysia University professor James Chin that snap elections may be held by September as there may be a second wave of global economic downturn next year.

So, when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announces good economic growth for the second quarter of this year, Chin assumes that he will most likely exploit that advantage by dissolving parliament and not wait till 2011.

Also based on the government's announcement of national economic growth of more than 10 percent for the first quarter, September polls is likely, according to Chin.

Another event that lends substance to speculation is the sudden generous hiking of allocations for small projects for each BN parliamentary constituency from the present RM1 million to RM1.5 million.

Back to the fold once more

Kula said: "This increase in allocations is for BN MPs to strengthen their hold on their constituencies and reach out to more people to shore up support for the BN."

Later, Kula told Malaysiakini that Najib's 1Malaysia policy seems to have taken a back seat as he attempts to return to the good books of the Malay community by reversing government decisions and reforms favouring all Malaysians.

The DAP state deputy chief said: "The BN suffered a big political psychological blow when they lost the Sibu parliamentary seat to the DAP.

"Now, fearing that they may lose their prized Sarawak state to Pakatan if separate elections were held, Najib may try to conduct both simultaneously to thin the resources and manpower of Pakatan, to ward off such a possibility," Kula said.

"Also, Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud recently held talks with his state BN counterparts and the election commission."

According to Kula, Najib fears that in the face of Taib's ebbing political influence, separate polls may allow the prized state to slip away.

The recent Merdeka Centre survey showing the PM's popularity at an all time high across all races could also be another push factor for the polls, he said.

Kula pointed out that commenting on this survey, former premier Mahathir Mohamad had encouraged Najib to call for general elections to test his popularity.

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