Election fever: Khairy jabs Pakatan

If Pakatan Rakyat is so concerned about a fixed election date, the Umno Youth chief says, the opposition coalition should reveal when it will dissolve its state assemblies.

RK Anand, FMT

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has come under fire for keeping the nation on its toes with regard to the next general election date.

However, Barisan Nasional Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin threw the ball back into the opposition’s court.

“Why don’t we also blame the Pakatan-held states?” he asked.

“If they are so concerned about a fixed election date, tell them to announce when they would dissolve their respective state assemblies,” he told FMT.

Among other concerns, the prime minister was said to be worried that if he called for the polls before the term expired in next April, the four states under Pakatan might opt not to dissolve their assemblies for simultaneous state elections.

Pakatan controlled the states of Selangor, Penang, Kedah and Kelantan.

Since taking over the reins in 2009, Najib had set his sights on re-taking these states, especially the resource-rich Selangor.

Commenting on the speculations concerning the election date, Khairy said this was common even in the past.

However, the Umno Youth chief pointed out that it was others, and not the prime minister or the government who were speculating about the date.

“The election date is the prerogative of the PM and he has the freedom to choose when he wants to ask the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament,” he said.

Following Najib’s recent speech in Sandakan where he had repeatedly mentioned his favourite number – 11, speculation had been rife that the polls would be held in November.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz accused the pundits who read between the lines of the speech of making a “stupid” prediction.

According to him, the election could not be held in November as the Budget 2013 would need to be debated and passed first.

Earlier this week, Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga also took Najib to task for putting the nation on election mode by dropping hints.