In tea leaves, economist sees slender Pakatan win

The Malaysian Insider
Jan 11, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will notch a slim victory over the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in Election 2013, according to calculations by Bank Islam Malaysia’s chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin.

In a report by The Straits Times of Singapore, Azrul’s computations found that BN was likely to win only between 97 and 107 of the 222 parliamentary seats — insufficient to reform the next administration.

But the result would also mean that PR will only gain a shaky hold over Parliament and far from the supermajority once enjoyed by its rival.

The outcome was considered the most probable during the banker’s presentation at the Regional Outlook Forum in Singapore yesterday, and took into account factors such as race and demographics.

Later, Azrul forecast that fallout would result from the PR win, with the stock market set to respond in “knee-jerk” fashion as well as an extended period of perceived instability.

He also did not rule out the possibility of “economic sabotage” by businesses and the civil service that are aligned with BN.

The ruling BN government has ramped up efforts to secure a victory against its most organised opposition in the general election that must be called by April 27.

In Budget 2013, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a smorgasbord of handouts and benefits in an effort to court electoral support ahead of polls.

These include a second round of RM500 cash handouts to lower income families, dubbed “BR1M 2.0”, as well as an expansion of the programme to include payments of RM250 to single youths earning below RM3,000 monthly.

Earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin suggested that the payments may be made permanent and even doubled to RM1,000 with a BN victory.

Other aid measures include RM500 book vouchers and a new RM250 smartphone rebate for students.

Najib’s approval rating slid to 63 per cent in November, according to a Merdeka Center poll released yesterday, with nods for his administration and BN trailing further behind at 47 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.

The previous round of BR1M handouts was shown to have boosted support for Najib, especially in the lower income group that was the main recipients.

But an opposition-backed mega-rally called “Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat” planned for tomorrow risks throwing a wrench into BN’s works, just as the April 28, 2012 Bersih rally was said to have derailed Najib’s plans for a snap election then.

Najib has the option to call Election 2013 anytime before April 27, after which Parliament will be dissolved and polls automatically put into action.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 12:03 pm

    Tea leaves? Did he use Lipton or the common mamak stall type?

    Most people still discount and forget the many phantom voters, the many instant citizens, the postal voters, the padding and shifting of voters and many other scams. These should give the BN the small advantage still. Najib is not stupid. Neither are his many hangers-on who stand to lose should their ‘leader’ lose. So don’t discount the dirty tricks.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 12:17 pm

    PR must not be content to sit on its laurels but put in more fire-power to win big …yes win big.

  3. #3 by machiavelli on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Malaysians are now at the crossroad.

    Do we continue as we were or do we go for a change.

    Before you decide, consider these:-

    1) do you think our current crop of leaders are doing a good job.
    2) is there more or less corruption, nepotism and cronyism since Merdeka.
    3) is the cost of living getting lower; consider two big ticket items, housing and cars.
    4) do you feel safe.
    5) is our education standards getting better and our students are equipped to better compete in a globalised world.
    6) do you feel there are opportunities and room to grow as an individual in view of current policies.

    Bangun Rakyat Malaysia!

  4. #4 by john on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 12:48 pm

    A smokescreen, beware ! Rather PR MUST do the (hard)groundworks tediously, never take for granted ‘anywhere’.

  5. #5 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 2:02 pm

    PR must not be happily dragged into a lull by such projection! Indeed with a slim majority, it may cause an outbreak of spring frogs to come out of their hibernation! PR must triple their effort to create at least 12% gap!

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 3:32 pm

    Bank Islam talking to foreign investors? Does Azrul still have a job?

    Muhiyiddin offer to up and make permanent RM1,000 BR1M sounds desperate though…Its at least insane keep repeating something that is not working.

    It does not even matter, PR must win convincingly. It means, immediately having the electoral audited ASAP and then declare emergency to rectify the electoral roll and make sure PR has total control..

  7. #7 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 3:33 pm

    Indeed, going by objective calculations, the final result would be nothing other than a slim victory either way.

    Of course, objective calculations allow no room for surprises like those we saw in 308; like the fall of penang, kedah, perak and selangor; like to almost complete eradication of gerakan; and the crippling bashing suffered by mca and mic.

    My guess: Yes PR would win by only a narrow. And following their defeat BN component parties would implode and crumble. Wealthy umno leaders and all their cronies would leave the country. Unlike 308, this time round frogging would not happen.

    I think we would do well to be prepared for this.

  8. #8 by sotong on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 4:27 pm

    A slim majority is not good for PR and the country.

    It must win BIG to govern the country for the first time and carry out significant long term reform, on top of cleaning up the mess!

  9. #9 by cseng on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 4:54 pm

    Ask him to tea leaves read when shall be the next GE?

  10. #10 by john on Friday, 11 January 2013 - 9:56 pm

    Only count the chicks when is hatch.
    Prevention is better than cure.
    Tea leaves reading in real (eg. factor in CHEATING) situation ?

  11. #11 by chengho on Sunday, 13 January 2013 - 6:15 am

    most Malaysian especially village folk drink warm water

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