Najib may call for only parliamentary polls
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will call for only a parliamentary snap election instead of holding the state polls simultaneously, predicted DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong.
According to Liew, this first of its kind move is to ensure that Barisan Nasional scores a “handsome win” in the general election.
“I think he will separate it and only call for parliamentary election and not dissolve state assemblies… and I believe this is due to the current dynamics of Umno’s internal politics,” he said.
Liew claimed that Najib was planning to remove several menteris besar in BN-ruled states whose tenures were “long overdue” and simultaneous federal and state elections could ruin that plan.
“The menteris besar of Negri Sembilan, Johor, Perlis and Terengganu and the chief minister of Malacca all need to go as they have overstayed and some of those states are in trouble, so Najib wants them out.
“But if Najib calls for a simultaneous election and removes them, it will cause squabbles and protests. That can affect the general election results. Najib would like to win handsomely and convincingly,” he said.
However, Liew refused to commit as to when exactly the election would be called.
“It’s hard to speculate, there are so many factors, including whether Najib would like to call for a concurrent election with the Sarawak state election,” he said.
Another factor, he added, was the global economy.
“If the economy looks like it’s going downwards, the chances that the government will call for polls earlier are higher, but this depends on how the government sees it as well,” he said.
Liew also dismissed a theory that Najib would call for snap elections after March as it would mark a full three-year period required for first-term MPs to get their pensions.
He said this was a misreading of the law as there was a proviso that allowed MPs to have pensions if snap polls are called.
He also did not think the government would go through with a re-delineation exercise before holding snap polls, saying it would take too much time.