Dr M predicts polls in a few months with Barisan winning

(Bernama) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Barisan Nasional is in a good position to win the next general election, which he predicted may take place early next year.

The question, however, is whether the Barisan will obtain a two-third majority, he said.

The former prime minister said a weak government is open to attack by the Opposition.

“I think they (Barisan) are busy campaigning to make sure they can win. The (just concluded) Umno general assembly was quite good,” he said at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said the election might be held sometime next year, although Parliament is not due to end its term until 2013.

He said if the election is held too early, states under the control of the Pakatan Rakyat might not want to go through with it.

He added that it could be their strategy because they want to retain those states and make a bid for other states.

“It is up to the Government to consider this,” Dr Mahathir said.

Asked whether the court case of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will play a role in the coming election, Dr Mahathir said: “One way or another he will play a role.”

Recalling the 1999 general election, he said when Anwar was found guilty of the court case then, the PKR adviser made use of the “black eye incident” and Barisan lost about 300,000 Malay votes.

“The Chinese voted for the Barisan. They were strong supporters because many of them were saved from bankruptcy.

“That’s why we retained the two-thirds majority, although Umno lost a lot of seats,” Dr Mahathir said.