Najib urged to consult Anwar on election date

A consensus between BN and Pakatan makes greater democratic sense and shows political maturity, says PKR man.

(Free Malaysia Today) – A PKR leader wants Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to meet with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to jointly fix the date of the next general election.

“It will settle the question of whether the four Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states should hold separate elections from the parliamentary one,” said Sim Tze Tzin, Penang PKR’s info chief.

“The way forward for Malaysia is a bipartisan consensus on when to hold elections as this reflects political maturity and a greater democratic sense,” he said.

The country is heading towards a two-party system where neither side have absolute power. A check and balance system can eventually lead to good governance, Sim said.

Therefore, an important milestone such as a general election, should be decided on a consensus between BN and Pakatan, he added.

“It’s unfair for one man to decide the fate of 27 million citizens on the date of an important event such as an election. Once the date is known, people would settle down unlike now, where there are intense lobbying and politicking.”

Sim cited the example of former British premier Gordon Brown, who after consulation with all stakeholders, set an early election date for his country.

This, he said, reflects Britain’s recognition of due electoral process, and it is an element which Malaysia can also adopt since both share similar Commonwealth constitutional law.

Sim said an early election date would also boost the economy as the markets would react positively to the news.

“Businessmen and investors hate uncertainty. An early date would spill over to the markets and bring about more economic activities.”

Sim said if Pakatan refuses to hold concurrent state elections with a parliamentary one, both political blocs would lose out while the people would shoulder the burden of voting twice.

Having separate elections can benefit either BN or Pakatan, he contended, as both blocs have their own advantages if there are separate elections in the four states.

Speculation is that the BN-led federal government may dissolve Parliament anytime from now, paving the way for a national-level election for 222 parliamentary seats.

Pakatan states do not plan to follow the parliamentary-level election, creating a possibility that voters in Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan may end up voting twice, one for parliament and at a later date for their respective states.

Meanwhile, DAP leaders here seemed to be in two minds over whether the four Pakatan states should hold a separate state election.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh said both state and parliamentary elections should be held at the same time to save costs but in a recent statement, Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow begged to differ after a challenge by MCA Youth head Wee Ka Siong.

Waste of the taxpayers’ money

Wee challenged Pakatan state legislatures to be dissolved if and when a snap national election is called.

His reason was separate polls will be a waste of the taxpayers’ money, a logistical nightmare, and troublesome for voters who will have to travel to their constituencies twice.