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Jun 13, 2008

Lost 2/3 majority in Parliament-The Next Challenges to Our PM

THE NOBLE HOUSE

I was only able to watch live telecast from RTM on 1999 general election results. That time I was 11. Parti Keadilan Nasional won 5 Parliament and 4 state seats in the 29 November general election. Exactly one year later, it won another state seat in the Lunas by-election. The following general election the party was practically wiped out when its president, who won the only seat, almost did not make it. Now after almost a decade, 2008 general election means a lot in my 20. Although still not qualified to vote, but I was in high spirit to know the results through via Internet. The time has changed; I want myself to be a responsible citizen that cares about nation's progressions by updating the political happenings around me. In the recent general election, the opposition political parties bounced back with the total highest votes compare to Umno and a record number of seats opposition parties has ever won in Malaysian election history. This certainly says a lot about Malaysian elections when especially PKR that had been classified as ‘dead’ not only bounced back but ended up leading the opposition coalition. Results in the general election have changed everything, more than I expected.


RESULTS OF THE 8 MARCH 2008 PARLIAMENTARY GENERAL ELECTION


Total: 222 Parliament seats

Barisan Nasional: 4,082,411 popular votes, 50.27%, 140 seats, 63.1%

Pakatan Rakyat: 3,796,464 popular votes, 46.75%, 82 seats, 36.9%

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, fighting for his political survival since an election in March.
Following are major challenges to our PM:

ANTI-FUEL RALLIES

-PM’s administration faces test to control mounting anger and, possibly, more organized street protests over the fuel price hikes. The opposition, emboldened after a good showing in March elections, has proposed bringing 100,000 people to the city centre on July 5 to protest against the fuel hike. This could be the country's biggest anti-government protest ever, but whether it is allowed to take place remains to be seen. Malaysia bans gatherings of five or more people without a police permit.

ECONOMIC TEST

-PM, who is also the Finance Minister, will present the 2009 national budget in parliament on Aug. 29. His faces a delicate task of trying to calm down voters with generous tax cuts.

PERCEPTION PROBLEM

-Even before the March election debacle, Abdullah was perceived to be suffering from credibility problem after flip-flops over policy decisions. These included the scrapping of a plan to replace Malaysia's side of the causeway to Singapore. Pulau Batu Puteh is the another issue.

THE ANWAR FACTOR

-Anwar has said he has enough lawmakers to topple the government following the March election and was waiting for the right moment. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's claim that the opposition coalition would be competent of forming the next government by mid-September.

LEADERSHIP TEST

-Former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad’s shock resignation from UMNO and his call for Abdullah to resign late last month has prompted speculation that festering rifts in the party could widen and speed up the premier's exit.Abdullah has said he would defend his post as leader of UMNO at party elections in December. A win will mean that he remains prime minister. Most of the political analyst stated that PM possibly will quietly arrange to hand power over to his stated successor, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

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