Call polls now if you believe Daim, Kit Siang dares Najib

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has dared Barisan Nasional (BN) to dissolve Parliament immediately if it really believed Tun Daim Zainuddin’s analysis that the ruling coalition cannot do any worse than in 2008.

“If they honestly believe in Daim’s prediction, then Najib should call for a general election immediately,” the Ipoh Timur MP told The Malaysian Insider, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The DAP parliamentary leader said that it was obvious that BN did not agree with Daim, who was twice finance minister when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister, as it had put off calling snap polls, now expected to take place no earlier than the end of the year.

Rumours have been swirling of a snap election since last year, even though Najib’s mandate only ends in the middle of 2013.

Daim had said in an interview published on Sunday that BN will do better in a general election expected within the year as it cannot fare worse than it did in 2008.

He said that the mood has changed in the past three years and “as long as the people know how to differentiate the wheat from the chaff (padi dengan sekam), I believe BN will remain in power.”

“Umno and BN will prevail. I don’t think BN can lose worse than it did in the 2008 election,” he said in Mingguan Malaysia, the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia’s Sunday edition.

Daim had predicted in late 2007 that Penang, Selangor and Kedah would join Kelantan as opposition-held after the 2008 election.

BN lost its customary two-thirds majority of Parliament in the landmark election and Daim’s prediction came through when BN ceded the four states and also Perak in what became known as a political tsunami.

He said that the public had voted for change in 2008 but have not seen this happen in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) held states in the past three years.