Will Parliament be dissolved after the Election Commission’s 2018 redelineation proposals are passed by the Dewan Rakyat next Wednesday?

There are speculation galore about when is the much anticipated 14th General Election – expected to be held within the next 50 days.

Will it be held after the Election Commission’s most controversial 2018 Constituency Redelineation Proposals, which is still officially “embargoed” from public discourse because of the shocking “embargo” ruling of the Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, is passed by the Barisan Nasional simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat next Wednesday?

If Parliament is dissolved on Thursday, March 29, then Polling Day may fall on Saturday, 28th April 2018.

Or will Parliament be dissolved on April 6 after the completion of the present parliamentary meeting on April 5, with Polling Day falling on April 28 or May 5, the latter the same date for Polling Day as the 13th General Election in 2013?

I was quite intrigued by a government-linked survey, a Bernama radio poll, which revealed that Malaysians are split on who will win the forthcoming general election – with 37 per cent of the 1,050 respondents believing that Barisan Nasional can retain power, 32 per cent of the opinion that Pakatan Harapan would win while 31% were uncertain.

Considering that this is a government-linked poll, I find the finding most significant.

Malaysia has travelled quite a long way since the last two general elections.

Just 10 years ago, those who questioned before the 2008 General Election whether it was possible to change the Federal Government would be regarded as either naive or crazy.

Now, even a government-linked survey shows that a change of Federal government is within reach.

This will not be an easy job to accomplish, but such an objective is within the realm of possible achievement in the 14th General Election.

If there is a swing of 10% of the Malay voters and 5% of the non-Malay voters from UMNO/BN to Pakatan Harapan in the 14GE as compared to 13GE, then the chances are good that Pakatan Harapan will be able to form the Federal Government.

Penang must play its part to bring about this historic electoral change in 14GE by ensuring that Pakatan Harapan can win the three remaining parliamentary seats in Penang still in UMNO/BN hands – Tasek Glugor, Kepala Batas and Balik Pulau.

One question uppermost in many minds is about the mystery of the Election Commission’s Final Report on the 2018 Constituency Redelineation, tabled in Parliament yesterday but embargoed from public knowledge and discourse by the Speaker’s most unparliamentary and undemocratic “embargo”.

Is the Election Commission’s 2018 Constituency Redelineation Proposals the most dishonest, dishonorable and disgraceful Report when compared to the previous four Election Commission Constituency Redelineattion Proposals in the past four decades that the Speaker had to impose such a ridiculous embargo?

In fact, will Election Commission’s final report on constituency redelineation be proof to justify the British international weekly magazine, the Economist’s 8th March, 2018 article titled “Stop, thief! Malaysia’s PM is about to steal an election”?

The Economist report alleged that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak feared that most voters would not vote BN to power again if given a choice, and is “taking their choice away” by means of gerrymandering and malapportionment, among other tactics.

It also cited the 1MDB scandal, in which US authorities say billions of ringgit have been misused, and said:

“Faced with the risk of losing power, the government is rigging the system even more brazenly. Parliament will soon vote on new constituency boundaries. The proposed map almost guarantees Najib another term, despite his appalling record.”

It noted that “the practice (malapportionment) is so unfair that it is illegal in most countries, including Malaysia, where the constitution says that electoral districts must be ‘approximately equal’ in size”.

Will the Election Commission’s final report of constituency redelineation proposals in fact be the final proof of thievery of the next general election?

More than two weeks have elapsed since the Economist article “Stop, thief! Malaysia’s PM is about to steal an election”, but despite the matter being raised both inside and outside Parliament, the Prime Minister has shown no signs that he would sue Economist to clear his own name and reputation, as well as the of Malaysia and 30 million Malaysians.

The question Malaysians must ask is whether Malaysia has become a double global kleptocracy, firstly because of the 1MDB scandal and secondly, as charged by The Economist, because of the theft of the impending 14th General Election.

(Speech (2) at the Hi-Tea Pemuda Amanah Permatang Pauh at Kampong Paya, Pematang Pasir, Penang on Friday, 23rd March 2018 at 6 pm)

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