COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II
Ten reasons why PM Ismail Saberi should not opt for an early GE15
First, from Ismail Saberi selfish perspective, prolonging the GE means he can last longer as the prime minister and increase his chance of becoming the next prime minister after the GE15.
Second, the whole world knows that Ismail Saberi is under tremendous pressure from the Umno cluster, particularly the former prime minister Najib Razak and the Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to call for an early GE15.
He has been resisting this pressure for some time, more so after the recent Johore by-election. However, Ismail Saberi has been resisting this call on the grounds of inflation, state of the economy and food security. It only makes sense for the country to go a full term to hold the GE15 next year.
Third, if Ismail Saberi calls for an early GE15 under the pressure exerted by some Umno leaders, then he must take the responsibility of interfering with the judicial process. Not only Najib has been convicted, but his appeal might be heard shortly in the federal court.
Zahid Hamidi case of embezzlement of funds might be coming up and not to mention the case against Rosmah, Najib’s wife.
Withstanding the pressure from Umno means that Ismail might allow the courts to dispose of these cases before the next GE15.
This will not only strengthen Ismail position in Umno but ensure that he has chance to be the next prime minister. Ismail might be seen as non effectual but he is certainly better choice in comparison to corrupted Umno leaders.
Fourth, if an early GE is called in accordance with the wishes of certain faction in Umno, then there is sure possibility that three states in the country, Penang and Selangor under the PH and Kelantan under PAS might not go along.
This means that there would not two elections in the country.
I am not sure whether Ismail is fully cognisant of this fact and the implications.
Holding the GE15 next year after the completion of full one electoral terms would make sense to avoid having parliamentary and state elections different times.
Fifth, Umno appears to be the most selfish and irresponsible party due action of those leaders who have been accused of corruption and final misappropriation.
Just because they don’t to face the dim prospect of being convicted and going to jail, they want to subvert the judicial process by calling for an early GE15. Whether an early GE can the direction of the courts remains to be seen.
But certainly, some Umno leaders having exhausted other avenues still believe that an early GE15 might be the last chance to save their political careers. Never mind that Malaysians have lost billions in taxpayers money due to the greed and selfish actions of a few.
Sixth, not going for an early GE15 as demanded by those the Umno Court Cluster is rare opportunity for Ismail to say no to them. By ignoring their pressure, Ismail might get the support and goodwill of the larger Malaysians.
In fact, his litmus test to be the next prime minister is whether or not he can say no these bunch of crooked and self-seeking politicians. I know it would be difficult to stand up, but Ismail has no choice if he wants to be counted as decent and responsible prime minister of the country.
Seventh, the question is not about the timing of the GE15, but whether the government under Ismail will have the moral fiber to stop the rot that is taking a heavy toll on the country.
By saying no to the Umno Court Cluster, Ismail might defy the odds to earn a reputation that is much needed to steer the country out of the doldrums of economic and financial malaise.
Eighth, Umno or BN is not strong as being projected by some.
Winning the state by-elections in Melaka and Johore on the basis low voter turnout is no indication that Umno is on the ascendancy politically. It was merely a relative success against the weakened PH coalition.
A better strategy based on a broader oppositional coalition politics might be able take on the BN led by Umno. There is no guarantee that BN will sweep the next GE15. In fact, PH might even win the GE15 if coalition building is strengthened and consolidated.
Ninth, Ismail must not think that Umno is on the path of political ascendancy. If such a thinking is allowed to germinate then it might be possible for him to give in. But then, he has his own group of advisors from Umno who think that the party is not that invincible. The recent electoral successes in Melaka and Johore is not barometer to gauge BN’s victory in the GE15.
Tenth, Ismail as the prime minister has the political room to maneuver on the question of timing of the GE15. The timing should be decided on the basis of what is good for the country as whole and not to pander to the particular interests of Naib or Zahid.
These individuals have done so much harm to the country, listening to them will tantamount to massive betrayal.
I hope that Ismail has the patience and good sense not to be influenced by those in the Umno Court Cluster.