Which earlier – next Sarawak state election or 13th national election?

Which will be held earlier – the next Sarawak state general election or the 13th national general election?

The conventional wisdom will be the former as the Sarawak state general election is expected to be held in the next 12 to 18 months.

In the May 20, 2006 Sarawak state general election, the Sarawak Barisan Nasional suffered a major and unforgettable blow when its political hegemony in the Sarawak State Assembly was smashed with the loss of nine state assembly seats – six to the DAP.

After the “political tsunami” of March 8, 2008 general election, where five states in Peninsular Malaysia fell to Pakatan Rakyat and the Barisan Nasional lost for the first time its parliamentary two-thirds majority, the expectation and hunger for greater political change is thick in the air all over the country.

In the first six months after the March 8 general election, Sabah held the political centre-stage as the pivotal state to take the “political tsunami” to a higher level.

Although this has still to come to fruition, the political centre of gravity has shifted to Sarawak which is expected to go to the polls in the next 12 to 18 months – providing a critical test whether the political changes started in the May 2006 Sarawak state general election and expanded in the March 2008 national general election will culminate in a great political tsunami in the next Sarawak state general election with the toppling of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and the Sarawak Barisan Nasional state government.

In the next Sarawak state general election, DAP and PKR must endeavour their utmost to ensure that they could unite their resources and efforts to present a single slate of candidates to ensure that the ‘political tsunami” can come fully to Sarawak for a new government to be formed.

However, I am not certain whether the next Sarawak state general election will be earlier than the next 13th national general election, as the first thing Najib Razak must decide when he takes over as Prime Minister from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in early April next year is whether to hold a snap general election to take full advantage of the initial “honeymoon” euphoria of a new Prime Minister.

It is not going to be an easy decision for Najib. Both his predecessors, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah had taken full advantage of their first months as Prime Minister to win big in their first general election.

The temptation for Najib to go down the same route will be very great, although he would be faced with problems which both Mahathir and Abdullah did not have to face – the worst-ever economic crisis and the possibility of Barisan Nasional and Umno losing power.

But is there any surety that Najib will be on a better wicket if he forgoes the advantages of having a snap general election in his early months as the new Prime Minister by calling his first polls only after some three years as Prime Minister, i.e. 2012, when he would have to campaign on the results he could deliver as PM and not on promises or nd appeal to the voters to give him a chance to perform?

Najib must be mindful of the most famous political prophecy “RAHMAN” as to whether the final and sixth alphabet “N” signifies not only his becoming the sixth Prime Minister, but whether he would be the last in the line of UMNO Prime Ministers before giving way to a new Malaysian government and political coalition.

(Speech at the Miri DAP Branch Dinner to celebrate 30th Sarawak DAP Anniversary in Miri on Saturday, 20th December 2008)

  1. #1 by k1980 on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 7:30 pm

    If there is no need for Bruneians to pay personal income tax, the Sarawakians must open their eyes and ask themselves why they have to do so when Sarawak is so much resource-rich compared to their tiny neighbour Brunei.

  2. #2 by Jimm on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 9:07 pm

    very challenging as Sarawakians are truly living in such a scary poverty environment ……. especially those in the rural areas.
    with a little bit of basic supplies which actually budgetted to help them through federal government funds ( rakyat monies ), umno can always gains these people vote as they thought that umno are really taking care of their livinghood…
    too many bad influences have been instilled to all those rural folks , Sarawakians are basically a lamed duck for umno to play with especially when it come to winning votes.
    hard luck , we just need to work on another platform to make sure that umno are self-destructed by their own evil animals within their pack.

  3. #3 by juno on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 9:09 pm

    YB !The same way Congo is with its rich natural resources,–but in the hands of a lots of bad man. The same applies to Sarawak. What UMNO breeds,– out there is not only mosquitoes but Mafia clans to use as and when they need for their benefits during elections. The State has earned billions but the people are still downtrodden. Lots have been exposed by http://sjsandteam.wordpress.com/ .The only way to fight evil of this kind is to shame them and expose them to the world. The leaders there will play all the tricks of political perversion before they call for any form of power sharing . We are actually dealing with a real uncontrollable Satan that is suffering from diarrhea.

  4. #4 by lee wee tak_ on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 9:15 pm

    Don’t think Najib will ask for a snap election. He can wait for 4 years and enjoy the power given to him like always. Enjoy first, slowly take action to arrange things to his advantage.

    There is no pressure for him to seek mandate. He has the Speakers to protect him in the Parliament, the Police outside the Parliament so really he is the immovable object now. No one within BN and UMNO is challenging him now albeit his merit to assume the premiership is beyond me. Is he infinitely better than Razaleigh, Koh Tsu Koon, Ong Tee Keat and Samy Vellu to lead the country? If Sabah can have rotations in Chief Ministers, why not among BN components, this issue was never even discussed?

    If he wants to win on merit in the next GE, he has to take the chance now to govern and govern well while at the same time, deny Pakatan Rakyat from governing easily so that some voters will swing back to BN because of the needs to fix roads, lights and drains, which I believe, consist a significant of the voters.

    To heck with judiciary reforms, accountable governance, eradication of corruption etc. All Lim Pei want is the street in front of my house is well paved, the longkang fixed and the 5 year once ang pow. Gimme that and my soul belongs to you.

    So prove me to be wrong, do I not love that

  5. #5 by son of perpaduan on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 9:59 pm

    I bet on Sarawak will call for election earlier than expected. Sarawakian suffer more than anybody else in the whole of Malaysia. Needless for me to explain how the Taib’s families treats and steal Sarawak resources from the local people. Sarawak state is shaking and need to change for their own good.

  6. #6 by A true Malaysian on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 11:01 pm

    Whichever first also never mind.

    Sarawak election comes first – sapu

    13th GE comes first – sapu

    You missed out an immediate one, KT ‘bye’-election come first – sapu

    sapu+sapu+sapu=13th GE tsunami

  7. #7 by Godfather on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 12:51 am

    No way they will take the risk of early elections in Sarawak. The last time I saw the list of “projects” to be undertaken by CMS and their cronies, the cost totalled in excess of RM 15 billion. They need to get this projects off the ground first, otherwise there may not be “ripe” fruits for the thieves to pick.

  8. #8 by undergrad2 on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 6:35 am

    “Najib must be mindful of the most famous political prophecy “RAHMAN” as to whether the final and sixth alphabet “N” signifies not only his becoming the sixth Prime Minister, but whether he would be the last in the line of UMNO …” KIT


    “RAHMAN’ means Abdullah is the end (‘N’). After Abdullah PR takes over.

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 7:15 am

    What “initial “honeymoon” euphoria “?

    Najib is the same old hogwash. Can’t expect a zebra to change its stripes! No, not now…no, not ever.

  10. #10 by luking on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 8:05 am

    The phophecy RAHMAN,i believed has happened and will ends here.The people knows if they don’t do it tis time,it’s hard to do it the next time.

  11. #11 by chengho on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 8:30 am

    Don’t you think Pakatan honey money already over Hussam Pas came back with Huddud law, Dsai still struggling to convince his vision now we have jerit to do the job , Pakatan no more berpakat , 5 states under Pakatan ruling still like the prev government apart from the correction of a few street with no names..
    Tsunami pru12 euphoria will be over for the next 12 months Rakyat will go back to bread and butter issues economy..economy…employment,safety net,take home pay…

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 8:46 am

    8th March General Election was a signal of ground-shfiting snowballing change of public sentiment against the ruling coalition.

    They know they have to reinvent and change to placate public sentiments or as Pak Lah said, perish, the traditional Ketuanan formula notwithstanding.

    In the momentum of things they have to win back public disaffection before having the sarawak state election or the next general election (the former being just as important as a bad performance there may open flood gates to trigger an exodus of crossovers).

    However but they are either at a loss as to how to do it or just cannot do it – being too enmeshed in a patronage system to be able to unwind it.

    Facing an almost equally strong in number Opposition in Parliament and 5 of the richest states controlled by the Opposition neither can assert absolute power without the other hindering it in some way.

    A slew of ISA and criminal charges against the Opposition head and dissident (RPK & others) against a background of selective prosecution sparing the high and mighty have only served to inflict as much if not more collateral damage to the government’s credibility as those charged.

    The country then faces at the prersent moment a crisis of political leadership as no one, no premier, no one in either BN or PR coalition presently has majority popularity and legitimacy to rule and lead without credible challenge from others …

    That is both good and bad for the average Malaysian, good in the sense that people in power has to try to be sensitive to public oinion, like for eg. retract the IJM privatisation in the face of public outcry; and also bad in the sense that the lack of a strong political leadership is a serious handicap as it implies that the country can do no more than autopilot ad hoc to fire fight a looming raging economic inferno reaching her shores, the adverse effects of which will only in the longer run create conditions of social unrest and turn the populace against those in power via the ballot box to the Opposition’s advantage.

    This triggers another possibility that those in power – unwilling to relinguish power at all costs because they have too many skeletons in the cupboard to risk exposure – may contemplate exploit social unrest to justify and resort to greater repressive methods (another full scale Operation Lallang) to forcibly stay in power and not lose it.

    This may be the worst case scenario in the stead of the other speculation that “N” may signify Najib being the last in the line of UMNO Prime Ministers before giving way to a new Malaysian government and political coalition, touted as the new dawn for Malaysia (whether true or otherwise).

  13. #13 by k1980 on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 9:11 am

    Elections in 2009? You must be joking

    Malaysia’s economic growth will be between 0.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent in 2009. Morgan Stanley in its latest report said it expected growth to be 0.5 per cent, noting that latest figures showed that the country’s trade surplus was narrowing.

  14. #14 by Bigjoe on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 9:21 am

    There are other consideration for an early 13th GE.

    1) Najib knows that the fortunes of Gerakan, MIC, MCA are on a long term spiral. All he can hope for is that they are NOT wiped out in a 13th GE. In the current economic challenges, they will be wiped out and he can’t afford that. But in 2010, if situation is more stable, he may go for it unless

    2) UMNO still cannot regain the Malay votes. He need conditions that are either unfavourable to PAS OR Keadilan. PAS success has been due to the Erdogan faction which Nik Aziz is key to keeping the party from in fighting. If Nik Aziz should pass away, in fighting among PAS would signal a good time for Najib to call a 13th GE.

    OR time is NOT on Keadilan side. Time allow Najib to find financial resources to spend to counter Keadilan. Keadilan success is driven by Anwar and scandals for fodder, its not ideology. If scandals is reduced and money is spend by UMNO, then Keadilan will be backed against the wall. The good news is that scandals seems to be plenty in supply – note them fielding a candidate with unpopular projects in Terengganu. But there may not be enough scandals to keep Keadilan going. Najib is no idiot to not replace the threats to his power. Come 2010, if he sense that Keadilan is running out of scandals to feed on, Najib will go for 13th GE..

    So the case for a early 13th GE is still there BUT, its iffy. It depends largely HOW LUCKY Najib is and we do live in a lucky country especially for the PM of this country (how else do you explain the lack of utter failures of Dr. M and even Badawi despite their mediocrity?)

  15. #15 by wizzerd on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 9:27 am

    Whether the Sarawak elections or the General Elections come first, BN in Sarawak or in Peninsula must be rejected throughout.The latest issue being the impending privatisation of IJN, it seems that the thieves have no longer care how the rakyat can determine their fate. Malaysia = UMNO’s country, Petronas’ resources = UMNO’s piggy bank

  16. #16 by ch on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 9:40 am

    Dear All,

    To answer this million dollar question we myst first look at the good old conflicting emotions of “greed and fear”. If we look at the current economy turmoil that the world is going through now, we will discover that not many had actually exited from the markets timely and you will also discover that many will start asking as to why the greatest economists in the world had as well failed to see the collapse. This is simply because “greed” had trumped “fear”. Judging from the market movements today, we see there is still little fear in the market. However, we can also see many are very positive about the world economies and are still valuing a lot of companies at close to price earning multiples of 10 based on historical earnings. So, if you think the world economies will skid and continue to skid next year or so, then the prospective earnings of these companies will fall drastically. Even assuming PE multiples of 10 as the base , then the share price of these companies will have to come down quite a fair bit. This is the disconnect. Many have said that the economy will go bad next year but yet they are buying or encouraging people to buy at prices that do not reflect the anticipated decline in economic activities. Hence “greed” continue to trump “fear” and not many are exiting the market. The Malaysian government has came out to defend our economy which they claimed will not be badly affected by the slowdown in the US economy. In fact, a minister had the audacity to say or comment that Malaysia has matured above US dependence and is now moving further away from them. Which in a way good as to keep all and sundry happy and confident on our economy. Until of course when the day reality sets in and the market corrects to reflect the reality and not an imaginary situation which we have been made to believe.

    The above situation is quite similar to the given political scenario in Malaysia today. In the past, BN has been overcomed by greed over fear. But the reverse is true after “308” and the strong emergence of Pakatan Rakyat.

  17. #17 by madmix on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 10:07 am

    Taib will not call an election until the end of the present term. His son is not ready to take over. Sulaiman is under intense coaching and training. Look how well behaved he is. By 2011 he should be ready for a full senior state minister post. Taib meanwhile will stay on as Chief Minister and hand over the post to his son mid-term. That is my opinion.

  18. #18 by joshua81 on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 11:19 am

    as a sarawakian, i had heard enough of jokes and news on taib, cms, titanium etc.. all sarawakians knew everything about taib but what can be done? he own the whole sarawak! no wonder people say he’s the richest person in malaysia. i wish the state election would come earlier. now that DAP and PKR is picking up pace in major parts of sarawak, the chance of toppling BN is possible. people wanted change but still there are too many people on taib and his cronies’ payroll. those selfish and self-centered bastards!

  19. #19 by k1980 on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 11:54 am

    Don’t think that Jib can move as fast as Bush


  20. #20 by Hapygreen on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 2:45 pm

    I’m fully confident that PR, and only PR is eligible to topple Sarawak BN down along with their leader, who had long been heard of allegedly getting involved in uncountable corruptions and scandals.

    Sarawakians with inaudible voices must have suffered a lots under the “colonization” by BN for 50 years. Grievances arises when fundamental demands like electricity and water supply and some basic facilities were not met.

    Such atrocious living conditions would have been worse and more serious in rural areas which we normal people can’t imagine of.
    Where did “great development” promised frequently by BN go?

    If these are the case, you as a Sarawakian, especially those from the rural areas should realize that current government have been cheating you for the past 50 years. They are no longer caring about your needs even if they are winning the polls continuously for the next 100years. Undoubtedly, it is on the right track of giving way for a more competent political coalition-PR!

    We are determined to deny leaders who did not walk their talks and kept on shortchanging legitimate rights of rakyat!!!

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