Tengku Razaleigh As Interim Prime Minister

Yesterday was a very long day. Even spent time traipsing around a durian plantation. It was full of new information, new experiences and finally last nite I even took a test. (I think I passed).

Yesterday evening I attended a seminar where the closing session discussed Malaysia’s politics in 2012. Upon request by the organiser (a dear friend) I cannot say which seminar. Some of you folks were there as well – I am sure. The topic was the 13th General Elections.

When will the 13th General Elections be held? One speaker pointed out that the GE is not due until 28 April 2013. And Constitutionally it can even be postponed by another two months. Lim Guan Eng has said that if the GE is called before June 2012, then the Pakatan held States will not dissolve their State assemblies. Karpal Singh is not in agreement.

Some other folks I met say that the 13th GE will be held about six months after that Parliamentary subcommittee to study the Electoral reforms has been appointed. The subcommittee has just been appointed in November. Six months hence is therefore April 2012 – still a year before the full term ends.

My view is it depends on whether the Crown Prince of Sungei Buloh is sent back to sit on his throne in Sungei Buloh. If he is sentenced to sing-sing, there will be some outcry and some sympathy. It will take about six months before the sympathy dies down. His backaches will also start again within about six months of being put in sing-sing. I can already imagine all those pictures of him – wearing braces and sitting in a wheel chair – being smuggled out of sing-sing. (All this is based on whether he is found guilty or not ok).

Anyway one of the speakers said (to my surprise) that he had spoken to the Crown Prince’s lawyers who do not feel confident that their client will be found innocent. In other words they also feel he will be found guilty of the charges.

So six months from a guilty verdict will be about just right to have the Elections. My own view is that lets have the elections in 2013. We need more time to put things right. The time is not right yet.

And the PM needs to really revamp the Cabinet. No revamp – can get mauled in the General Elections. Two other things were mentioned yesterday. One speaker said that possibly 70% of voters have already made up their minds who they want to vote. It will be very difficult to change their minds. The battle is actually (or always has been) for that remaining 30% fence sitters. I think there is some truth in this. At the last General Elections, many people decided to vote for the Opposition – no matter what you said or did, they were going to vote Opposition.

Post 2008, I once embarrased (just pulling their leg) a group of hard core UMNO supporters at a dinner by asking ‘Whoever DID NOT vote for the Opposition please raise your hands’. No one raised their hands. I think had voted for the Opposition in 2008. Everyone just wanted to be rid of Slumberjack and the corrupt SIL.

Anyway, the clever lady who spoke yesterday said something else which I feel is extremely important. And for this round, the Prime Minister better take note of this point extremely very well.

She said that the last 10 – 14 days before the General Elections are very crucial to help people make up their minds. Since most General Elections only have about two weeks campaigning period, this means a sizeable number of people (possibly that 30% of undecided voters) will actually make up their minds within 10 – 14 days before Polling Day.

By that time, all the candidates representing all the parties will be known to everyone. This time around if folks like the “Lembu Condo” people appear on the ballot, there will be a price to pay. If the Mat Rempit fellow appears on the ballot, or the SIL, there will be a price to pay. Times have changed.