Farewell 2012, Hello 13GE
Writer: Fahmi Fadzil
Published: Fri, 07 Dec 2012
WHAT a year it has been! Who would’ve thought that much of these past 11 months would have sped by with such ferocity?
Yet to some, 2012, like the year before it, has been nothing but a long and painful wait: many Malaysians, if not most, have eagerly and disappointedly awaited the arrival of the much talked about 13th General Election.
Yet it has not arrived.
In fact, I remember cancelling plans as early as March 2011, which was when we were first treated to a series of PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “teases”.
“It’s coming soon.” “11 is PM’s favourite number.” “Polls nearby.” As many will be able (and loath) to recall, these are some of the painfully usual tantalising headlines we’ve been feted with.
And you know what? 2012 has come and gone, and yet there’s still no sign of 13GE.
Well, life goes on. And with each passing day of an unfulfilled promise for polls, I can’t help but feel that the tide against Barisan Nasional turns ever more slightly.
I mean, at one point, I even entertained the notion of delaying my wedding for the polls. Luckily I didn’t wait!
So what have we got in store in this first quarter of 2013?
Well, some are certain that polls will either be before (mid- to end-January) or after Chinese New Year (late March).
The Federal Constitution has it that if Parliament is not dissolved come end April, it will automatically do so after which elections must be held within 60 days; this means that the latest PM Najib can hold off is until June 2013.
I doubt he’ll wait that long. No prime minister before him has ever done so, and I’m not sure if Najib would like to be branded the first to have had such an… honour.
But certainly the BR1M 2.0 and “BR1M Bujang” will be dished out by then. It’s a pre-election promise that the BN government cannot afford to renege on.
And to all and sundry who have filled in those forms, take! take! take, for it is the rakyat’s money anyway!
What I think will be very interesting are the developments of the following events or issues:
- Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (HKR) in KL on Jan 12: Will we be getting another mega assembly, like what we’ve been seeing in Negri Sembilan, Kelantan, and Johor? And will the police be just as gentle to HKR as they were with the Himpunan Hijau folks who marched from Kuantan to KL?
- the French judicial inquiry into the Scorpene RM540 million kickback scandal: will we be seeing PM Najib and his one-time righthand-man Abdul Razak Baginda in the witness box? Will more revelations come forth from the one-time “carpetman” Deepak Jaikishan?
- price of Felda Global Ventures Holdings shares: while it’s currently trading at RM4.61, the past few weeks have seen a slide to very close to its listing price of RM4.55. Will FGV’s next few quarters’ results be lacklustre (its nine months ending Sept 2012 saw a drop of 40% in pre-tax profits)? Will the global market for commodities remain bearish? Will the opposition still be blamed for what is essentially an issue of business fundamentals for FGV?
While I cannot predict what will become of these issues and the results of the upcoming 13th General Election, I can only hope and wish that as we speed past the “expiry date” as predicted by the Mayans, Malaysians will be ever more awake to the realities faced by our country.
And rise to the challenges that lie ahead.
Selamat Tahun Baru.