As speculation intensifies over the date of dissolution of Parliament, the relentless campaigning heads towards its final lap.
The Edge business website reports receiving text messages from unnamed sources speculating that Parliament would be dissolved on 22 February, and that’s the date being mentioned in coffee-shops, with many saying that polling will be held at the end of March. But then again, who knows for sure? People are just plain tired of this guessing game anyway.
But the campaign appears to be going full steam, all the same. A couple of people have received the following notice in their mail:
Some parents of pupils, meanwhile, have already collected their conveniently timed RM100 from the schools. Now there’s BR1M 2.0 coming up. Before that we had the smartphone rebates.
Najib and Rosmah meanwhile have visited Gaza in what appears to be an attempt to court the Muslim vote ahead of the polls.
In Perak, DAP ceramahs are playing to fairly large crowds, as Kinta Kid writes here.
Not to be left out, an MCA politician is trying to squeeze maximum mileage out of the New Year festivities. This photo from Media Rakyat.
It appears to be neck and neck, if the UM survey is to be believed.
But it’s bad news from the Sabah front for the BN with the Royal Commission of Inquiry proceedings receiving some shocking testimonies (actually, not so shocking) of how foreigners were given identification papers in the 1990s so that they could vote in the state elections. That has put Mahathir on the defensive, and true to form he has diverted attention to Tunku and the pre-Merdeka citizenship arrangements.
And the next thing you know, Perkasa is talking about Bible burning. Don’t fall for the bait! It is so predictable they will use all kinds of racial and religious issues to divide voters (and opposition political parties) ahead of the polls. This is the Old-style Politics that Francis Loh discussed in this Aliran article, whose practitioners are terrified of losing ground to the New Politics (the multi-ethnic approach to issues of justice and governance e.g. Bersih 3.0, the anti-Lynas movement, etc). So the politicians practising the Old Politics of race and religion are trying desperately to make up lost ground.
Then another setback for the BN: another death reportedly allegedly involving the police. Not good. Malaysiakini reports: “Four police officers were alleged to have chased, handcuffed and then smeared turmeric powder on the face of a security guard, before beating him to death along with a mob at Taman Pekaka, Hulu Langat yesterday.” Now the response is there was no turmeric powder, the deceased had gone amok and – wait for it – he died of a heart attack! The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission needs to become a major election issue.
Meanwhile, the Felda Global Ventures share price plunged to a new low before bouncing back to RM4.51 a day later.
While over in Batu Caves, the controversy over the condo project turned into a hot potato. The Nut Graph attempts to dissect the issue, and both sides of the political divide appear to have a lot to answer in this case. Which makes you wonder: are the developers more powerful/influential than the rakyat?
Finally, the Selangor state government did the right thing by wisely cancelling the project. That shows that state governments CAN cancel projects when they want to or when they have the political will to do so without being liable to pay millions of ringgit in compensation.