Archive for December 20th, 2007

General election expected in March – Indian voters “kingmakers” in 28 parliament/78 state assembly seats

I expect the 12th general election to be held in another two months’ in March 2008.

For the whole of this year, there had been periodic speculations about general election this year as early as before the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations on August 31, then almost monthly – September, November and December.

But such speculation of early polls had only made their rounds outside the precincts of Parliament as there had never been any buzz or fizz among Members of Parliament, including Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, that general election was imminent or around the corner.

If I had been asked a week ago, I would rate the chances of the next general election being held either before or after April next year (when Anwar Ibrahim regains his civil entitlement to contest in the general election) as 50-50.

There was however a quantum development in the political scenario in the past few days, when for the first time in the current term of MPs, the corridors of Parliament were infected by an air of expectation that MPs were seeing the end of Parliament and that they would not be gathering again as MPs of the 11th Parliament.

I would now rate the chances of the 12th national polls being held in March as 70-30.

The next general election will see a new factor in the political power equation – the role of the Malaysian Indian voters, who had always been regarded as a solid captive vote-bank by the Barisan Nasional in previous general elections.

This is no more the case as there is an awakening of political consciousness among the Malaysian Indians, particularly at the high-handed treatment of the Hindraf demonstration in Kuala Lumpur which saw the support of 30,000 Indians from all over the country, the unjust and unconscionable handling of the “Batu Caves 31” who were denied bail and incarcerated for 13 days for the ridiculous charge of “attempted murder” of one policeman and the dismissal of the legitimate grievances of the Indian community over their long-standing marginalization as equal and rightful citizens of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »