General election guessing game — Lim Mun Fah
JUNE 5 — The date of the general election has become the subject of a guessing game since 2010. However, no one has guessed it right so far.
Rumours about the date of the general election have been widely spread since we entered 2012. It was once rumoured to fall during the March school holidays and later the June school holidays. The latest speculation said that the date might fall in July or September.
However, no matter how we speculate it, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak still looks calm. He said earlier that the general election would be coming soon and the date would be a surprise to all. However, he later said that the date of the general election was a secret not to be revealed like the recipe of Coca-Cola.
People are looking forward to the big day but at the same time, worrying. Some people speculated that he was indecisive and lacked confidence due to the internal and external problems, while some said he actually had a ready plan in mind and was deliberately playing psychological warfare to kill the morale and patience of Pakatan Rakyat.
In short, as long as the prime minister does not announce the dissolution of Parliament, the tiring guessing game will go on. After all, the mixture of true and false is not something unusual in politics.
And now, only one thing is sure. No matter how long it is delayed, the 13th general election must be held by June 27, 2013. It is because the current members of Parliament were sworn in on April 28, 2008. Parliament must be dissolved the latest on the expiry day of their five-year term of office, namely April 28, 2013.
According to the Westminster system, a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom, if the prime minister does not announce the dissolution of Parliament on the expiry day, Parliament must be automatically dissolved on that day and the general election must be held within 60 days, namely before June 28, 2013.
However, as Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said, it is only the most extreme assumption and in fact, such a situation has never taken place in Malaysia. All former prime ministers had announced the dissolution of Parliament before the deadlines.
It must also be pointed out that according to the Federal Constitution, the prime minister can only decide the date to dissolve Parliament but not the date to hold the general election. The date of the election must be decided and announced by the Election Commission.
The prime minister has the final authority to decide the date to dissolve Parliament and, of course, it can be regarded as a trump card. However, delaying the announcement of the date is not necessarily an advantage to the ruling party as the longer the delay, the more uncertainties there would be and it might bring more troubles, too.
In any case, we can feel that the atmosphere has become increasingly intense. BN and Pakatan Rakyat have started to hold rallies to boost morale and if the election date is delayed for too long, it would be a money- and resource-consuming battle. It will also fray the people’s trust and judgment. It is indeed not a good thing for the country as well as the people. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.