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Speech by M.Kula Segaran at a workshop entitled "Orientation and Election Preparation" organized by DAP Ipoh Timur at Ipoh City Country Club on 29th August 2010:

General Election sooner than later?

The nation's last general election was held in March 2008.The 13th general election is therefore not due until 2013.

But since Datuk Sri Najib assumed the office of Prime Minister, there have been speculations that snap polls or early general election will be held.

So when will general election be held? This is a question not even Paul the Octopus can tell.

But when it is held, it may come as a surprise.

Parliament to be dissolved next year?

Recently, Prime Minister Najib had said the government would not dissolve parliament to make way for the general election based on one opinion that people favoured him, but the election date would in fact be a surprise to all.

Before the recent Sibu by election, there was speculation that Najib might hold Parliamentary and Sarawak state elections simultaneously. But the unexpected BN's loss in Sibu has upset his plans.

So when will he dissolve parliament?

I believe that Najib will dissolve the Parliament not later than second half of next year due to three factors:-

a. Worldwide economic downturn expected in 2011

b. He will want to take advantage of the people's general attitude of "give the new leader a chance". Such advantage will decrease with long delay when his government is unable to deliver more than is expected of him.

c. He will want to seek his own mandate as the nation's new Prime Minister

Sarawak factor

There is now strong speculation that if BN does well in the Sarawak state election, then Najib will dissolve Parliament early next year, probably in March 2011.

Sarawak state election is due by May 2011 but it is expected to be held this year.

However, if Sarawak state election is held soon after Hari Raya and BN performs well, I will not rule out the possibility of Najib dissolving Parliament even this year.

Of course, if Sarawak state election is only held next year, then Najib's promise for a surprise election may come true, a simultaneous holding of the Parliamentary and Sarawak state elections.

March towards Putra Jaya

Next general election will be a most crucial election for the nation as it will be an election for the first time in our nation's electoral history where many political analysts believe there exists the real possibility of a change of Federal Government.

In the past, it was always a foregone conclusion that BN would continue to rule.

Hence, we must expect BN to go all out in all aspects to stop the Pakatan Rakyat's electoral objective of "March Towards Putrajaya". It would not be surprising if BN uses all it's resources in what ever way and tactic it can, namely money, threat and the media to win. We should expect the next election to be the dirtiest and the ugliest ever!

We need to be a lot more prepared compared to the 12 th general election. We must be better prepared in all aspects, including even to have better quality and winnable candidates.

In the next general election, a voter swing of 10 % will mean a loss of about 50 parliamentary seats either for BN or Pakatan Rakyat.

Lets work hard to ensure that the 10 % voter swing is in our favour so as to bring about a better government and a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion, class and creed.

* M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat



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