Is the 2013 Budget Najib’s “silver bullet” to win the 13th GE?

After the presentation of the 2013 Budget by the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament last Friday, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin praised the 2013 budget as “the best to date”, and such superlative praises have been taken up by the other Barisan Nasional leaders.

Muhyiddin also denied that the 2013 Budget is an “election budget”. No MP whether from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat would agree with him. In fact, I don’t think Muhyiddin himself believes his own denial.

But whether the 2013 Budget will be remembered by Umno/BN leaders as “the best budget” in the past 55 years will depend on whether it is the “silver bullet” for Najib to win the 13th General Election with a two-thirds parliamentary majority or whether it would result in his becoming the last UMNO Prime Minister or a prelude for him to be toppled as UMNO President and Prime Minister in a repeat scenario like what happened to Tun Abdullah in 2009 – becoming the latest “trophy” of Tun Mahathir who would have the scalps of three DPMs and two PMs in the bag!

It is precisely because Najib has no confidence that the 2012 Budget, despite giving goodies for almost every sector of the electorate, would be the “silver bullet” that he has kept postponing the dissolution of Parliament and acquired the dubious record of being the Prime Minister without an elected mandate of his own for the longest period when compared to all the previous four Prime Ministers after Tunku Abdul Rahman, including his father Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.

It is also because of this signal lack of confidence that he made dubious history in transforming the 2013 Budget into a brazen electioneering speech.

Najib took MPs and the listening public by surprise when he devoted the first six paragraphs of his 2012 Budget speech appealing to Malaysians for continued electoral support for Umno/BN government after 55 years, and hurled charges and insinuations against Pakatan Rakyat.

But he outdid himself at the end of his budget speech when he devoted the last 14 paragraph of his 174-paragraph budget speech on an unashamed glorification of UMNO/BN rule and condemned Pakatan Rakyat, causing many to shake their heads with the common complaint that the 2013 Budget presentation was a poor reflection on the “class” and “standard” both on the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister as well as on the annual budget.

It is evident that the 2013 Budget presentation hid a very unconfident Najib who is haunted and hounded by the phobia that his fourth budget speech as Finance Minister may be the last Umno/BN budget in Parliament in the nation’s history.

This is why despite all the chest-thumping and braggadocio of supreme confidence that Malaysia will witness six more budgets to be tabled by the Umno/BN Government to transform Malaysia from middle to a high-income developed country, Najib has continued to play the role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To Be or Not To Be”, agonizing over whether “To dissolve or not to dissolve Parliament” since last year.

In the conclusion of the 2013 Budget presentation, Najib said:

“We are aware that there are parties requesting to be given a chance to form the next Government. In a democratic country, we understand that they too have their rights. It is the rakyat who ultimately decides who will be given the mandate through the ballot box.”

Although the Prime Minister conceded that it is within the rights of political parties in a democracy to seek to be given a chance to form the next Government and that it is the rakyat who ultimately decides who will be given the mandate through the ballot box, the glaring omission was his failure to declare and pledge clearly and unequivocally that he would personally ensure and facilitate a peaceful transition of federal power for the first time in the nation’s history if this is the verdict of the electorate through the ballot box – to tell the world that Malaysia has become a normal democracy, a basic condition to become, in Najib’s own words, “the best democracy in the world”!

I had in fact posed this question to the Prime Minister many times in the past three years, but he has declined to break his silence despite his infamous speech of UMNO defending Putrajaya at all cost “even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost”, raising the question whether he and UMNO really want Malaysia to be the “world’s best democracy”.

In normal democracies, whether the United Kingdom, European Union countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States or even in Japan, none of their citizens would doubt that there would be peaceful transition of power from one political party or political coalition to another, whether at the national or state level, if this is the verdict of the electorate in a general election.
But this is not the case in Malaysia. In fact, we are still a very long way from being a normal democracy, when even the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Ministers, UMNO and all the component Barisan Nasional parties are still not prepared to make a clear and unequivocal commitment for a peaceful transition of federal power if this is the decision of the electorate in the next general election!

Najib cannot delay any further in making a public commitment to accept and facilitate a peaceful transition of federal power in the next general election if this is the verdict of the electorate or he would be proving right the recent description of him as a “false democrat” who “hold elections but have no intention of giving up power”.

(Speech 2 on the 2013 Budget on Thursday, October 4, 2012)

  1. #1 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 5:53 pm

    The 2013 Budget is nothing but an attempt to win votes.
    It is “I help you. You help me” to all voters…in a grand scale.
    He is PM cum Finance Minister and dare not show his face in Parliament to respond to Anwar’s rebuttal is clear enough… telling all Malaysians what kind of a PM cum Finance Minister he is.
    One who is afraid to challenge a rebuttal from an Opposition leader on the Budget is not worth any respect from any decent Malaysians.
    To note that MCA…MIC and Gerakan leaders are absent too…show clearly they are puppets to umno B and Najib.
    Yes….13th GE will be a GE…vote for Traitors ore Patriots…vote against rouges and thieves or support them…vote for unity or vote to be disunited …to have no true freedom.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:23 pm

    Phrase Finder Meaning:

    ‘We now use the term ‘silver bullet’ to refer to an action which cuts through complexity and provides an immediate solution to a problem. The allusion is to a miraculous fix, otherwise portrayed as ‘waving a magic wand’. This figurative use derives from the use of actual silver bullets and the widespread folk belief that they were the only way of killing werewolves or other supernatural beings.’

    Aaaah. Now we know what Najib is up to. He wants to wave his magic wand and ‘kill’ all the supernatural things and werewolves. He is haunted by that spirit and the pesky PR (and BN) wolves that are hounding him. He needs to cleanse himself and have peace of mind.

  3. #3 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 9:57 pm

    “Ohgod Umno Style”.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 10:54 pm

    For all the talk of the “Buy Election Budget” of handouts, the fact is its no game changer – the fact of the matter is the handouts were expected and in fact were under the expectation. People were expecting much more because they basically thought the prodigal Najib, given his penchant for PR over substance, would overspend for the effect.

    But even in under expectation, one cannot rule out that Buy Election Budget would still put a bump on the road or take some gas of the peddle of the march of PR into Putrajaya..

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 10:58 pm

    It is a shame that Budget 2013 has transformed the 13th GE from a traditional general election to a “BUY election”.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 2:42 am

    BUY eRection 2 syiok himself lor

  7. #7 by Bunch of Suckers on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 7:53 am

    What they do care are their cohorts and cronies! What they do not care is Rakyat! Silver bullet? I can see pigs in skies tomorrow…

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 9:26 am

  9. #9 by sheriff singh on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 9:45 am

    ‘……the glaring omission was his failure to declare and pledge clearly and unequivocally that he would personally ensure and facilitate a peaceful transition of federal power…’

    Many people at many forums have in fact asked him about this ‘peaceful transfer of power’ but on every occasion he had merely avoided answering it. What is the use of asking him or even suggest that Mahathir too give pledges of peaceful transfer of power when they cannot guarantee it? They might even condone anarchy or disobedience in their frustrations for losing power.

    When the leaders lose the elections it means they are weak and has lost considerable power and control. They would not be able to control their party members and supporters who might take matters into their own hands. We have many examples of this in Sabah and in the Malayan states itself over the past few decades and in recent years.

    Further, any ‘peaceful transfer’ even if it does takes place will not guarantee an orderly government for the incoming administration. The civil service and others who run the many government departments and institutions could withhold their support or show lack of commitment which will frustrate the new tenants of Putrajaya. Can Mahathir and Najib guarantee that these civil servants will give their full support and commitment to a Pakatan Government? Ideally the civil service should be neutral and give their full support to whoever is the government of the day but we all know that this is not the case in 1Malaysia. 55 years of knowing only 1 government has created a creature that might be difficult to control and tame.

  10. #10 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 10:34 am

    Silver bullet? Nah. Given umno’s specialty in misfiring and shooting itself in the foot, I say, jib would soon realise that he was actually discharging rambutan seeds.

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