Will Najib call for general elections in November this year if he could crank up his popularity rating to 80 to 85%?

I am quite intrigued by the following Sunday Star report “11 goodies at 11.11am on July 11” on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Hundred Day Address as Prime Minister yesterday, viz:

KUALA LUMPUR: It was the Prime Minister’s 100th day in office but it was the number 11 that took prominence.

His first 100 days fell on July 11. He announced 11 people-friendly measures, starting his speech at 11.11am.

Two minutes before that, Najib was already on stage to deliver his speech.

He smiled when the master of ceremony politely called on him to hang on for a while because, said the MC in jest, the speech text had gone missing.

At exactly 11.11am, Najib started delivering his 50-minute speech.

It would appear that “11” is Najib’s favourite or even magic number, just as it is known that “13” is the favourite number of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

If Najib is so enamoured with the number “11”, is it likely that he might call the next general elections in November this year?

Is this so impossible? I do not think so. When to call the next general elections to secure his credibility and legitimacy as Prime Minister must be the foremost question in the minds of Najib and his strategists since April 3 when he took over from Abdullah – whether to call for early general elections or to serve out the rest of the term, which is less than four years!

Najib has been able to celebrate his Hundred Days as Prime Minister with a popularity rating of 65% although he polled a dismal 45% a month after he became Prime Minister and a lowly 42 per cent just before taking over the premiership from Tun Abdullah on April 3, 2009.

Chalking up a jump of 20% percentage points in his popularity rating in six weeks is quite an achievement, and if Najib could crank up his popularity rating in the next two months to achieve 80 to 85 per cent popularity rating, he would be sorely tempted to dissolve Parliament to call for early general elections – even in November this year as he should know that the longer he waits, the greater the likelihood of his popularity rating starting to plummet especially if he cannot deliver on his catalogue of promises like his predecessor.

In four short years, Abdullah’s popularity rating plunged from an stratospheric high of over 95% in 2004 to 45 per cent in 2008, swinging from an unprecedented Barisan Nasional general election triumph winning over 91 per cent of the parliamentary seats to an unprecedented Barisan Nasional debacle losing two-thirds parliamentary majority as well as five state governments!

Najib is not confident he has majority support, not only among the people but even among Umno and Barisan Nasional MPs.

This is why he dared not ask for a motion of confidence in the recent Parliament, as he is not sure how many Umno and Barisan Nasional MPs would vote against such a confidence motion in him – as it could range from a handful to sufficient numbers to despatch him from being the Prime Minister to become the Parliamentary Opposition Leader!

With the boost in his popularity rating in the recent Merdeka Centre poll from 45% to 65%, is Najib confident enough to ask for a confidence motion when Parliament reconvenes on Oct. 19?

Or would he seriously consider calling for general elections in November if he could crank up his popularity rating with a further slew of goodies, which he knows are ephemeral in effect and cannot have sustainable impact after one or two years?

These are the questions which have been haunting and hounding Najib and his advisers and will continue to haunt and hound them until they decide on when to call the 13th general elections in Malaysia.

(Speech at the meeting of DAP State Secretaries, Organising and Publicity Secretaries at Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya on Sunday, July 12, 2009)

  1. #1 by Chong Zhemin on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 7:34 am

    I do not think General Election will be on top of Najib’s list. He might want to use Perak state election as a barometer to gauge the people sentiment. If BN can secure more seats this time then it might be “time” for Najib to dissolve the parliament.

  2. #2 by limkamput on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 7:45 am

    Malaysian politicians like ordinary Malaysians are superstitious fools, forever listening to con fortune tellers and fong sui masters. Ya, 308 was also a very auspicious day, right? May I know what happened to that date? So now we have the 11 stuff. How can we call ourselves a modern nation? No we are not; we are just a group of hopeless fortune seekers. Hello, our future and our fortune are dependent on our work and the grace of god. It is not dependent on some stupid numbers churned out by conmen.

  3. #3 by frankyapp on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 8:10 am

    I still feel NR will not call for an early 13th General Election or snap GE even when the next Merdeka centre poll or other polls give him a 95% popular rating.HE and his strategists know,frankly I know too that the Merdeka centre poll and other polls in the country are not reliable at all.These polls tend to favour the party or poeple in power.Moreover,most malaysians when ask by these polls,play a pretty good game in giving a positive attitude ,to sort of not disappointing the people in power.The only real test to decide the people’s trend of voting A or B or even C is between nomination day and a week before the polling day.However,I’m still skeptical of the correctness as money politic is rampant especially by Umno/Bn campaigners who go with bags loaded with cash during the wee hours of the night to certain targeted kampongs to distribute these money to the real voters in exchange of the votes for Umno/Bn candidates.There’s always a Koran oath ceremony by an Iman,witness by the kampong headman to ensure all these registered votes go all out with their families’s voters to cast their votes for Umno/Bn candidates.This is a dirty tactic played by Umno/Bn especially in the rural kampongs. PR leaders,please be forewarned. My opinion is NR will stay on for another year or two to ensure most of his current and his near future strategies work well and accepted by the malays most of all and the non malays in general.If that happens,I’m pretty sure he will call for the 13th GE.

  4. #4 by ctc537 on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 8:34 am

    His favourite number may be 11, but there is little likelihood that PM Najib will call for a snap election in November or within this year. It could be held soon after the Sarawak election but that only happen in the event of the B/N securing a landslide victory. The many economic projects for Sabah have not had positive impact on the people as yet, so Najib is still very doubtful as to the loyalty of the Sabah voters. The BN have to make sure that the ‘depoits’ for victory are there before they have the balls to go into battle. Moreover, there is no hope to take back Penang, Selangor or even retain Perak because the people in the three states are prepared to give the PR a second term, come what may.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 9:31 am

    Was Altan-who-cannot-be-named blown up at exactly 11.11pm?

  6. #6 by taiking on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 9:46 am

    Money politics has its limits. There are only so much goodies that one can give out. I mean najib cannot go on cutting away the nep or reducing tolls no stop. You see there are only that much useless body fat that one can trim off – beyond that one would be cutting one’s muscle tissues. That is why money politics is usually practised only when the need for it arises. So LKS does have a reason to pose the question of a snap election.

    On an earlier topic. Look at the 30% umnoputra equity entitlement in all IPOs that najib said would be abolished. Is he genuine? That policy has served its purpose well by enriching scores of umnoputras and fattening their wallets and bellies and shall I add, enlarging the size of their mansions and villas. Equity market is the country is lifeless. New IPOs now almost certainly will end with lower than offer prices. This is very crucial! It means the first 30% investing umnoputras in IPOs are bound to see the monetary worth of their investments shrink. In other words, the 30% umnoputra rights “sudah cukup cukup pakai” now “nah kasi you pakai.” This is an exercise of useless fat trimming. Only fools like tee keat will cheer!

  7. #7 by SpeakUp on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 10:03 am

    This is the same article in nature when Najib took the PM’s office, same thing when Najib got 45% popularity, again when it was a 65% popularity.Now its echoed if Najib gets 80%-85% … sigh …

  8. #8 by Cinapek on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 11:45 am

    Only his sycophants will sing his praise. The so called 11 goodies is but a blatantly naked attempt to buy votes. Because it was targeted at specific groups and areas that has not been supportive of BN or BN needs to buy over. Consider:

    1) Toll discount – For KL/Selangor drivers only. Why? To try to regain Selangor.

    2) Low cost houses in KL. Why KL only? What about the rest of the country. After making lofty claims of being PM for ALL Malaysians, why are not people in Kelantan, Johor, NS, Penang etc being offered the same thing?

    3) Petty traders 50% license discounts. Why FT only?

    4) Entrepreneur allocation. Why Indians only? Malay, E. Malaysians and Chinese entrepreneurs do not need similar help?

    5) 3000 taxi permits – I suppose KL only?

    6) Expediting birth registrations and clearing citizenship backlog is not a goodie but a obligation and duty of the Govt.

    7) Similar to improving utilities to rural areas. This BN GOvt has neglected them for 52 years and they should be ashamed for what they have not done instead of claiming credit for doing the little they are doing now.

    8) Reducing the cost of a motorcycle license. This takes the cake. Desperately trying to win the young Malay votes, they would stoop to this. What they have done is to encourage more Mat Rempits and kill or maim more young motorcyclist. In turn they have also cause more citizens to be vistims of these robberies and more deaths and injuries to victims.

    9) New trusr fund? What for? There are enough out there. Is this just another ruse to suck in more funds to fund corruptions?

    10) Measures to curb crime and corruption. How many times we have heard this? It is like an old tape recorder being played over and over again.

    Final conclusion. Zilch.

  9. #9 by OrangRojak on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 12:00 pm

    I’ve been reminded that I should be working, so I just want to say that in English Bingo Halls, ’11’ is announced as “legs eleven!”. Perhaps it’s the old testosterone surging again.

  10. #10 by Ken G on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 12:53 pm

    It makes no sense for Najib to call snap elections when BN’s mandate has 3-1/2 years to go. For what? To get legitimacy? As if he bothers about legitimacy. Tell him about Perak.

    BTW, sycophants from MCA and Gerakan who praise Najib sky high for these 11 so-called goodies are displaying their lapdog attitude again. Some of them are insincere like 20% reduction in toll for using more than 80 times a month which few will qualify; others are what a caring and responsible govt should do like birth certs and citizenship problems.

    But the real abuses within the system – the rampant corruption, the oppression of the police, the crime rate, the lack of independence of the judiciary and MACC – nothing has been touched. Nothing has been done for 2 current running abuses – Perak power grab and Anwar’s trumped up sodomy charges.

    Are Malaysians so easy to buy over with some cheap sweets and candy? Or have Malaysians been abused so long they rejoice when they are thrown crumbs rather Umno enjoys the banquet?

  11. #11 by SpeakUp on Monday, 13 July 2009 - 2:57 pm

    The goodies cost the government next to nothing. That is how it is done. A few crumbs that are hyped up by the media and all. Pathetic is the word.

    BUT let’s not forget the goodies promised by PR in places like Selangor. Has it been delivered? Why not? Why the excuses like Federal Goverment will not allow it? Why make promises that they cannot deliver when in power?

    We need to learn to be fair to both sides.

  12. #12 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 14 July 2009 - 2:43 am

    Hey SpeakUp,hold on,please don’t shoot aimlessly.Look Umno/Bn is in power for more than 52 years and still could not keep its promises.How can you accuse PR for not keeping its promises in less than 2 years ?. If it’s a state matter,I think the delivery should be on time.For federal matter,PR promises are at the mercy of the federal ministers. Hence if PR’s delivery is delayed,the culprit is the federal government. SpeakUp you may be on time to a dinner date with your girlfriend but if she is unco-operative ,comes one hour late,who do you blame for the hunger you have suffered ?.

  13. #13 by Woof on Tuesday, 14 July 2009 - 11:54 am

    Who would play bingo but old men living off their pension with time to spare??

  14. #14 by SpeakUp on Tuesday, 14 July 2009 - 12:16 pm

    Frankyapp … I know where you are coming from and I am not asking PR for miracles BUT try to see this:

    If PR cannot deliver on promises made for GE12 because Fed Gov does not wanna play ball then why did they make the promises in the first place? Its about accountability. I judge PR harder because they made big claims. As I stated, they say they are not like BN but they are better. So far, a lot of the PR guys have failed. The flavour of the month is called BICKERING.

    My example now Frank … you date your girl, you tell her it will be a nice dinner in say Lafite, Shang KL. She dresses up really nice since its a RM2K dinner. Then when you pick her up, you take her to Jalan Alor for frog porridge. What do you think she will do to you? Hehehehe …

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