A report by The Economist has predicted that Barisan Nasional (BN) could lose more seats in the next general election — widely expected speculated by the first quarter of next year — due to declining support among the young, moderate Malay electorate.
The Economist Intelligence Unit country report highlighted the Malay youths’ growing disillusionment with Umno’s “strong promotion” of Islamic values and the mounting number of political scandals.
“The most likely outcome of the next general election is that the BN will suffer a further loss of seats as younger, moderate Malay voters, disillusioned by political scandals and Umno’s strong promotion of Islamic values, decline to give their support to the ruling coalition,” said the magazine’s Intelligence Report on Malaysia for December.
Yesterday, former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo was charged with land fraud involving his Balinese-style mansion in Shah Alam.
The Sungai Besar Umno division leader was accused of knowingly purchasing two land lots and a bungalow for RM3.5 million in Section 7, Shah Alam, from Ditamas Sdn Bhd in 2007 despite the company buying the property for RM6.5 million on December 23, 2004.
Recently, BN leaders have conceded that they would likely fail again to regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority in the 13th general election, but were confident of wresting a few states back from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Last month, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also said that BN was capable of taking one or two states from PR because, he said, the opposition was in disarray. However, he added that BN would likely fail to regain its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The Economist Intelligence Unit report also pointed out that liberal middle-class Malays have swung from the biggest Malay party to the federal opposition.
“Although voters in the rural heartland of peninsular Malaysia continue to support Umno, a significant number of better-educated, liberal middle-class Malays have deserted the ruling party in favour of the opposition,” the report said.
The Economist Intelligence Unit report noted, however, that PR would likely fail to capture Putrajaya despite making further gains.
“The PR will make gains, notwithstanding internal difficulties in the aftermath of Anwar’s likely removal from the political scene, but the opposition alliance is unlikely to garner enough parliamentary seats to be able to form a government,” said the report.
The report predicted that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would be convicted on his second sodomy charge that could subsequently tear apart the opposition coalition.
“The leader of the PR, Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister, is likely to be convicted on a charge of sodomy in the coming months. Without him, the ties that hold together the disparate parties making up PR — the reformist, multicultural PKR, the conservative, Islamist PAS and the predominantly ethnic-Chinese, left of-centre DAP — are likely to fray,” said the report.
Anwar is currently standing trial for his second sodomy trial.
The PR leader has denied the sodomy charge and described it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power”.
The former deputy minister was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences.
In Election 2008, Anwar led the loose opposition pact of PKR, DAP and PAS to a historic sweep of four more states and 82 federal states, denying BN its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Despite intense speculation that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will call for snap polls by March 2011, the Economist Intelligence Unit report maintained he would likely fix the date for the next general election only after the Sarawak state elections that must be held by July 2011.
“We still believe that Najib will set a general election date after the Sarawak state election. The results of the Sarawak election will provide a good indication of the level of public support for the government and its reform plans,” said the report.
“The results of the two by-elections in November point to a slight shift in non-Malay sentiment in favour of the BN, suggesting that the government’s plans to reform policies that currently favour the Bumiputera has increased its appeal among ethnic minorities,” it added, referring to BN’s victory in the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections.
Last Friday, Najib unveiled his highly-anticipated New Economic Model 2 report, but analysts believe that it would fail to impress today’s more discerning electorate who are determined to see the PM’s commitment to promoting inclusivity, reform affirmative action to be more efficient and market-friendly and to steer clear away from the culture of patronage and rent-seeking that has been plaguing the economy for decades.
In his promises, Najib has pledged to reform an economy whose investment rates have not recovered from the 1998 Asian financial crisis and where foreign direct investment has fallen off a cliff from the heady days of the early 1990s.
Missing from the report, however, were concrete measures to reform the New Economic Policy (NEP), which affords the country’s majority ethnic Malays preferential quotas including for businesses, although it did pledge to target aid at the poorest 40 per cent of Malaysians regardless of race.
Investors have also complained that abuse of the four-decade-old NEP policy had spawned a patronage-ridden economy and eroded Malaysia’s competitiveness compared to faster reforming neighbours including Indonesia.
Let the rakyat drive the last nail into BN-UMNO's coffin.
Enough is enough. We want our country back. Malaysia does not belong to BN-UMNO. We want credible leaders to take Malaysia into a better future.
We do not have good opposition leaders with strategic minds.
Most are old dinasaurs using dinosaurous methods which do not always work. That's why it took 53 years of frustrations. Tough guys like YB Lim Kit Siang was easily played up to the anti Malay for example and he did not even try to overcome that while everyday shout Malaysian Malaysia.
It took the stupidity of BN arrogance especially those massive jams to unseat BN not because of anything PR did.
PR gained because of people's disillusionment, not because of their shouts and yelling around in Parliament.
Even a monkeys will get elected if guys do not understand the frustrations of the rakyat seeing so many damaging policies that make Malaysia in such a poor state.
Well we do not have choice. We still have to elect even monkeys so that there is a two party system. The future for Malaysia is a two party system. Choose the one that works for the people and not themselves.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hit out at the latest price hikes of fuel and sugar accusing the federal government for bullying the poor and empowering its ‘cronies’ as the federal administration could not impose cuts on their ‘subsidy monsters’ like the IPPs (Independent Power Producers). The government announced the removal of more subsidies on fuel, LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and sugar where Anwar claims that they are practicing ‘double standards’.
He said “The hikes only served to cancel out Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s ambitious promises of economic reforms in his just-unveiled New Economic Model 2 (NEM) yesterday. While BN claims the quantum of these price hikes is too small to have an impact on the public, the policy direction that is taking place cannot be mistaken. BN, through Pemandu has outlined a subsidy removal plan to impose a six-monthly price hike on RON95 fuel and the announcement last night confirms that similar price hikes will take place in the future and perhaps at an even bigger quantum. In the original plan, the proposed quantum of price hike was at 10 sen per hike for every six months, leading to the reasonable assumption that prices would likely soar again by mid next year. Amazingly, the only hikes implemented so far are on those items that hit directly on the people’s purses and not the cronies’,”
He added that “The government, through Petronas, currently subsidises IPPs and industries a whopping RM19 billion annually as the subsidised gas price of RM10.70 per mmbtu (for IPPs) was significantly lower than the average market price of imported gas of RM38 per mmbtu. Additionally, a Pemandu estimate that the government could save at least RM1.12 billion in 2010 if subsidies to IPPs and the non-power sector were to be reduced. This can be achieved if gas price to IPPs and non-power sector is increased by RM4.65 per mmbtu and RM2.52 per mmbtu respectively. Therefore, the Prime Minister and his government must answer why it is hell-bent on pushing for subsidy removal on fuel, sugar and LPG that will undoubtedly increase the burden of the lower income group, when similar zeal is not shown vis-a-vis the rich corporate giants. BN talks about the necessity to reduce subsidy in order to cut the nation’s deficit as a result of its carefree spending in the last decade. It chases the small change in the form of subsidy removal on household items most widely used by the people, yet it procrastinates on confronting the real subsidy monsters (IPPs). In the end, the RM126 million saved from the July cuts on sugar is not even enough to pay for Pemandu’s exorbitant cost,”
Who is subsidize the Rakyat or The Rakyat is subsidize BN......and who get rich from those subsidize????
BN lied - they increased the price of RON95 petrol
The Malaysian UMNO-led BN government told Malaysians to shift from RON97 to RON95, with the assurance that the government will continue to subsidize RON95 but not RON97 - and many did despite the damage that may arise by the changing of petrol type/grade... and now, the again rise the price of RON95 - the government lied....
PUTRAJAYA: The prices for RON95 petrol and diesel will increase by 5sen per litre at midnight (12.01am Dec 4) while the prices of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and sugar will be up by 5sen and 20sen per kg respectively.
RON95 would be raised to RM1.90 per litre from the current RM1.85 while price of diesel would be retailed at RM1.80 per litre. LPG and sugar will cost RM1.90 and RM2.10 per kg respectively.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala Idris said the price hike was the second wave of the subsidy rationalisation programme.
Prices of RON95 and diesel went up by 5sen per litre while sugar and LPG were raised by 25sen and RM10 on July 16 for the first wave of the programme.
That resulted in total savings of RM779mil. This time around, Idris said the savings is expected to be RM1.18bil.
Idris said the savings would be channelled towards improving urban transportation network, rural basic infrastructure and roads, education and efforts to combat crime.
He added that the increase was very minimal and should not hurt the people.
“I think it is fair to the rakyat. I believe people will be able to accept it,” he told a media briefing on the second wave of subsidy rationalisation here Friday.
Idris said the Consumer Price Index could be contained in view of the low increase and declined to disclose the amount of subsidy the government would have to pay for the items.