Twin boost for snap polls? Najib plays safe

The PM says BN is regaining lost ground, but continues to remain evasive on whether a general election is around the corner.

By Tarani Palani, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak skirts around queries on whether snap polls is on the cards following his double by-election triumph.

However, he said the Kerdau and Merlimau results, which saw BN retain the state seats with bigger majorities, indicated that the ruling coalition was regaining lost ground.

Asked if the consecutive wins in by-elections bolstered his confidence in facing the next general election, he replied: “It appears that the support from the people is strengthening towards BN… The trend is encouraging.”

“But when it comes to a general election, we have to take into account multiple factors. By-elections are different, but the trend is encouraging,” he told reporters in Parliament.

The premier also laughed when asked if the victories set the “right mood” for the Sarawak state election to be called.

“Harap begitulah (hope so), but during a by-election, national or state election, the situation is not the same, we must take into consideration the local factors,” he said.

For months, speculation had been rife that Najib would call for a snap polls in order to reclaim BN’s two-thirds majority and the states lost to the opposition in the 2008 general election.

The postponement of the Umno and MCA polls further fuelled the speculation.

PAS in a quandary

Meanwhile, Najib said the issues raised by the opposition were not accepted by the people, who were more confident of BN’s capability to solve their problems and expectations.

The prime minister also pointed out that PAS appeared to be in a quandary due to its religious agenda not being accepted by all, and its ties with DAP.

“Their ‘too cozy’ relationship with DAP also raises suspicion amongs voters, especially the Malay voters,” he said.

Taking a swipe at Pakatan Rakyat, Najib said the Anwar Ibrahim-helmed coalition was brittle with diverse stances, and the people do not have confidence in such superficial alliances.

Responding to a question, Najib said that non-Malay voters were also “warming up” towards BN.

“They are more spontenous in reflecting this towards BN,” he said, adding that BN must continue to win over their hearts and minds.