Election Commission Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid has announced nominations on 24th Feb and election on 8th March.There will be 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats up for grab.
Will Pak Lah be lucky this time around? There are mixed reactions as to what would be the result of the forthcoming polls with many still giving him a comfortable win over the oppositions.
As usual the oppositions are still disorganised and are expected to overlap in several areas where each one seems to think they have strong support.A clash between the oppositions would give clear advantage to the BN. Many Malaysians are still not comfortable with the idea of having the oppositions as an alternative. It's a Catch 22 situation and a sense of better the devil you know than the one you don't. The oppositions don't have credible manifestos to make the electorate fall head over heels in love with them.
Anwar Ibrahim of PKR lamented that Abdullah called the election sooner to frustrate him from standing as candidate.He was disbarred from standing for politicial office for 5 years due to his criminal record. The five-year period expires in April this year thus making him eligible to stand in few weeks time.There is some truth to his claim.
Abdullah should have waited and allow Anwar to participate and prove to the people once and for all that Anwar's politicial career is over as claimed by UMNO. Doing what he did would give credence that UMNO fear of Anwar is genuine.
The biggest blow and frustration would be for Hindraf and the Indian community. Most so-called Indian seats are likely to go to BN.There are no predominantly Indian constituencies, most are marginal and need support of other communities to win.
Other disadvantages for the opposition are money and machinery. The BN has a huge war chest and government machinery at their disposal. The main stream media is under their control and monopoly.Worse and most unfair is the campaign period. With only two weeks to go, the opposition would be hard press for time to get their machinery moving to get to the masses.
Some political pundits predicted BN would get less than what they got in 2004 but would still get 2/3 majority. Not good news for the opposition.
I am sure there will be some surprises in store for Malaysians come this March 8th.