Najib set to break tradition

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak may break away from tradition by allowing the Johor state assembly to be automatically dissolved first before dissolving Parliament.

G Vinod, FMT

It appears that for the first time since Malaysia’s Independence, the prime minister is going to allow a state assembly to be automatically dissolved before Parliament.

The Johor state government’s mandate expires tomorrow, paving the way for an automatic dissolution of its state assembly.

The next state assembly on the line to be automatically dissolved this month is Negeri Sembilan, with the mandate expiring on March 26.

Pundits have described that the 13th general election would be the toughest electoral battle Barisan Nasional would endure, forcing the government to break away from traditions.

Most state assemblies would be automatically dissolved next month, with Terengganu (April 7), Selangor (April 22), Perak (April 24), Malacca (April 26), Perlis and Kelantan (April 28), and Sabah (April 29).

Penang and Kedah would be automatically dissolved on May 2 while Terengganu’s mandate would expire on May 5.

However, all signs show that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would not wait till April to dissolve Parliament as speculations are rife that he might do it this week.

Last Thurday, Najib held a closed-door meeting with BN component party presidents for about seven hours in order to finalise candidates for the general election.

He is also widely speculated to have a second meeting with component party leaders this week to iron out other details.

Mammoth gatherings

Najib, who is seeking his own mandate for the first time, had also attended huge gatherings of three major races in the last four days, in a final bid to shore up support for the ruling coalition.

Last Friday, the prime minister attended a mammoth gathering in Kelantan, attended by a predominantly Malay crowd, and criticised Pakatan Rakyat for committing “seven sins”.

Chief among the sins, according to Najib, was that Pakatan had allowed non-Muslims to use the word Allah to refer to God in their holy books.

After that, Najib attended a gathering attended by nearly 30,000 people, organised by the Negeri Sembilan Federation of Chinese Association in Seremban.

In the event, Najib said he was grateful for the support the Chinese had given him. In return the association praised Najib for being able to bring economic progress despite a bleak global economic outlook.