All indicators point to an early GE in November

The salary increment for 1.02 million government servants is just one of the indicators for an early general elections.

The pay rise will no doubt lessen the burden of the lower ranking civil servants and has an impact on retaining their votes and loyalty to BN. Without the pay rise, it’s likely that some of them(and their spouses) would not vote for BN.

I still believe that AAB and his think-tank would not be relying on this salary increment alone to fish for more votes to secure another big victory for Barisan Nasional. Some of the non-Malays were not too happy with the quantum of increment because they know the money actually comes from the taxpayers like them collectively. And they have doubts that the public delivery system will be improved or corruption would be reduced very much.

AAB ‘s team knows that while AAB is still popular to many Malay voters especially in the rural areas, they can kiss and say goodbye to the “feel good factors’ created by AAB in 2004. They can now only depend on more goodies, plus some threats and massive frauds (with the help of Election Commission) to win elections.

AAB and his company will certainly turn the coming Budget in September into an ‘election Budget’, using it to woo Chinese and Indians who were not benefited from the pay rise in general.

They will also make use of the 50th anniversary of Merdeka as an opportunity to push nationalism and the so-called patriotism to ‘sky-high’ in order to create a ‘euphoria’ to drum up more support from the unsuspicious rakyat.

After more goodies and hand-outs were given out from July right up to September and October, that would be the right time for AAB to reap the harvest in November.

AAB and company have been saying that Anwar is a spent force or a non-entity after the Ijok ‘buy-election’. But deep down in their hearts, they know what kind of damage Anwar  was capable of if he was allowed to contest. The latest date for AAB to hold the GE would be March 15. There would be no more best dates for him after March 15.

I still think AAB will stick to one of the best dates (this year) given to him by his Chinese fortune master. That will be soon after the Hari Raya Celebration i.e. 25 November. He has won big in 2004 using the winning date given by the same fortune master. There’s no reason for AAB to disregard the advice of his master.

There are people in the Opposition even talking about August 2007 as the month for elections. I beg to differ. Yes, the Opposition is not ready by August ; but I believe even BN is not ready by August too. And more importantly, that’s not one of the best dates given by his fortune master.

Is the gov’t preparing for early polls?

Malaysiakini- May 21, 07 7:24pm

Former deputy prime minister and adviser to the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat Anwar Ibrahim said the pay increment for civil servants announced today indicated the government was preparing for an early election.

“Clearly the whole intention and purpose of announcing it in this period shows that it is around the corner,” Anwar told reporters, flagging an end-2007 date for the poll. “It will ease a lot of problems faced by the common folks, particularly with the rising petrol prices and price hikes impacting negatively the welfare of the people. “That means that election is very close,” he said, after attending the launching of Islamist party PAS’ new headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Anwar is barred from formal politics until April 2008 over a corruption conviction, and analysts have said a poll could be called as early as the end of 2007 to exclude him.

Mohammad Agus Yusoff, head of political science at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said the salary hike was long overdue but added changes would not be enough of a sweetener ahead of an election.

“The cost of living has gone up. It’s a logical thing for the government to do … but they cannot rely on these sorts of goodies that they give,” said Mohammad Agus.

Good economic performance

Earlier today, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the government will spend RM4 billion this year on pay rises for some one million civil servants. Under the hikes, approved earlier this month, 1.0 million civil servants will see rises of between 7.5 to 35 percent, while the police and armed forces will receive an additional 20 percent on their increment, Abdullah said.

They will also get a 100 percent increase in cost of living allowances, with all the rises effective from July 1 this year, he said.

“Overall, the pay hike is worth RM3.4 billion for this year, or an additional expenditure of RM6.8 billion annually,” Abdullah told a gathering of over 2,000 civil servants in Putrajaya, the adminstrative capital.

“The increase in the cost of living involves an additional expenditure of RM600 million for this year or RM1.2 billion per year,” he said, as the workers cheered and applauded the news.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at the function told reporters the hikes were not calculated to raise spirits ahead of an election. Malaysia must hold a general election by early 2009, but a poll is expected by the end of this year or in early 2008.

 Abdullah, who earlier this month said civil servants deserved the pay hikes, hailed Malaysia’s economic performance as a reason for the change. – AFP

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