The next General Election, the 13th, is widely expected to be called on paper between May this year and April/May next year when the five-year term of the present Parliament ends. The five-year term of Parliament is calculated from the first day of the first sitting of the first Parliament for the term/tenure.
Once Parliament is dissolved, elections would have to be held within two months.
However, if Parliament is not dissolved within its five-year term, it stands automatically dissolved at the end of that term. In that case, elections would have to be called within six months. This factor might be playing on Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razakâ€™s mind, desperate as he is to stretch out his term in office.
GE-13 can even be in second-half of 2013!
Najib seems to have come to the conclusion, albeit grudgingly, that there are no guarantees that he will be Prime Minister after GE 13. That may be the sole reason why his wife, Rosmah Majid, is forever off somewhere on shopping sprees if not hunting for a spot in exile at the expense of the people.
Whether Najib will be Opposition Leader and/or allowed to do so by his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin â€“ rooting for a Mahathir dynasty — and Mahathir Mohamad himself is a RM 1.5 billion question.
Najib does not have a mandate of his own.
He continues to shamelessly ride on that obtained by his sacked predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in 2008. Mahathir was able to get rid of Badawi because the Umno Supreme Council members, corrupt beyond redemption, are in his pocket.
Najib should have obtained his own mandate by now but he fears, as he has never feared before in his cushy life so far, the prospect of testing the electoral waters on his own.
No Prime Minister has been that fearful in the history of the country. Najib just doesnâ€™t have the guts to ignore Mahathir and his (Mahathirâ€™s) Umno Supreme Council and call for the 13th GE and accept like a man whatever is in store for him. Neither has he the foresight to make a deal with the opposition alliance to accept his faction at least into their government-in-the-making and save the political dynasty built by his late father.
Too risky for BN to call GE-13 now
There are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies in politics, only permanent interests. That doesnâ€™t mean the opposition alliance will accept Mahathir as well unless he agrees to flee the country for good and leave his ill-gotten gains behind.
Thereâ€™s too much at stake to go for the GE 13 now and even go for it at all, not just for Najib who is not that big a factor, but Umno, the establishment and the entire system which stands at risks of being dismantled and many of its members incarcerated for very long stretches, if not for good.
This is one reason why the Prime Minister declared not so long ago that he can always do what his father, 2nd Prime Minister Abdul Razak, did in the wake of the searing race riots between the non-Malay communities and the Malay-speaking communities in Peninsular Malaysia in 1969. However, Najib was quick to add that he â€œwould not do soâ€. But why mention it if he has no plans to do so? Was that a veiled threat to vote him back into power or else?
Najib was referring to the declaration of a state of emergency, the shutting down of Parliament, suspension of democracy, the shutting out of the political parties, and the setting up of the National Operations Council under Abdul Razak as Direction of Operations.
Abdul Razak also set up the National Consultative Council, with its members drawn from various walks of life but not the political parties, in lieu of the disbanded Parliament. He chaired the NCC.
Abdul Razak went on to form the Barisan Nasional, a concept which circumscribed the democratic process and denied the majority meaningful participation by endorsing elite power-sharing. The BN which was formed included the opposition parties which had made spectacular gains during the 1969 polls.
Emergency rule and forcing DAP to join BN
It will be a sheer miracle if Najib does not do what his father did in 1969/1970 considering his sudden morbid fear of going to the polls and especially with Mahathir breathing down his neck to achieve the impossible: get back the ruling Barisan Nasionalâ€™s (BN) coveted two-thirds majority in Parliament.
There are attempts being made to force the Dap to join the BN.
At the same time, Umno does not seem to reckon with the fact that its legislators will abandon Mahathir for good â€“ notwithstanding his Big Black Book of Everyoneâ€™s Sins — and flee in droves to the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) after the 13th GE â€œin order to buy political protection and avoid a stint behind bars, if not bankruptcy and/or the prospect of being reduced suddenly to abject povertyâ€. (more…)