BANGKOK: The Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, predicts the 13th General Election in Malaysia to be held sooner than expected.
Invited by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand or FCCT, Anwar shared his views on the latest political developments in Malaysia in an Evening with Anwar Ibrahim.
The Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim during a talk at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand, February 15, 2012. (Photo: Prachatai)
Anwar’s reply to a journalist's question on whether the general election will be held earlier or later.
In reply to a journalist's question on whether the general election will be held earlier or later, he mentioned a meeting of opposition coalition leaders in Pakatan Rakyat on Monday which predicted that the election will be held very soon "either in May or June" because the government’s policy of 500 ringgit per family assistance will be completed probably by the end of March.
Anwar said he told opposition leaders "I have worked with them (the government) before, I can read them better. I think that must be sooner than you predict.”
In October 2011, Bloomberg reported that in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s budget speech in parliament Malaysia’s government promised to give a one-off cash payment of 500 ringgit to households with monthly incomes of less than 3,000 ringgit.
Anwar also said the election campaign period in Malaysia will be one week. "It is the shortest in the world.”
"But we have confidence, that's why we have survived. The sooner they go for this (election), I believe the sooner Dato’ Najib Razak will be proclaimed as the new leader of the opposition." Anwar claimed.
During the meeting with the press, Anwar also said he plans to meet the PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat leader when he returns home for an explanation of the PAS leader asking him to retract his support for Israel’s security that was quoted in a Wall Street Journal interview on 31st January or sue the newspaper if it quoted him inaccurately.
In the 2008 election, Barisan Nasional gained 140 of 222 seats in the parliament, compared with 198 seats in the 2004 election while Pakatan Rakyat, a loose alliance of opposition parties led by Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, gained 82 seats.
It marked also the first time since the 1969 election that the coalition did not win the two-thirds supermajority in the Malaysian Parliament required to pass amendments to the Malaysian Constitution.
The five year term of the current Malaysian government led by Barisan Nasional (BN) will end in March next year, according to the constitution.