In responding to my blog “Will Najib call for general elections in November this year if he could crank up his popularity rating to 80 to 85%?”, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said at a meet-the-people session in Jitra he had no plans to announce snap elections at the function but remained very ambivalent as to whether he would go the full term or hold early general elections.
As he said that he “read an email sent by an opposition leader”, let me clarify that I never sent him any such email.
In my blog, I had asked whether Najib would call general elections in November this year (which seemed to be his personal auspicious number like No. 13 for his predecessor, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) if he could crank up his popular rating to 80 to 85% from a dismal low of 42% just before taking oath as Prime Minister on April 3, 45% a month after becoming PM and a jump to 65% two weeks before his First Hundred Days as PM.
What I find significant in Najib’s response is that he did not rule out the possibility of snap general elections.
Of course Najib being enamoured with the number “11” could also mean general elections in November this year, 2010 or 2011.
I am quite optimistic about the Manek Urai by election in Kelantan today, as there is strong likelihood that Pas will win with a bigger majority than during the general elections last year – which will be an unmistakable message that the people in the East Coast stand solidly with the people in the West Coast in Peninsular Malaysia in supporting People Alliance to bring about historic political changes in the country, as evident in the previous by-elections in Permatang Pauh, Kuala Terengganu, Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Penanti after the political tsunami of the March 8, 2008 general elections.
Hard work for Pakatan Rakyat will begin after the Manek Urai by-election result tonight.
The Pakatan Rakyat leadership council will have to address a host of problems in the People Alliance, many of which are self-inflicted ones, which had been fully exploited to create the public perceptions that People Alliance is losing momentum and in terrible disarray.
The Pakatan Rakyat leadership council meeting on Friday will be a most important one after the foundation meeting establishing PA after the political tsunami of the March 8 general election last year.
Pakatan Rakyat must take a grip of itself if it is not to disillusion its members and the Malaysian people looking for political change and national renewal, erasing public perceptions of the great difference between People Alliance and National Front.
One great difference between People Alliance and National Front must be the way internal and inter-party differences are addressed. In the National Front, they are handled on the basis of two factors – “fear” of UMNO, the Big Brother and Big Bully, by the other NF component parties; and “greed” so that unhappiness of the other NF component parties can be pacified with the distribution of goodies and even bread crumbs.
Such a modus operandi to resolve internal and inter-party differences has no place in People Alliance, where differences will have to be resolved on the basis of equality, mutual respect and commitment to agreed common principles.
Internal and intra-party differences in People Alliance cannot and should not be swept under the carpet but they must be ventilated and resolved in a manner which do not cast People Alliance in a poor light as a quarrelsome, undisciplined and divided lot, which could only damage and destroy public confidence and support.
Time has come for People Alliance to set up a disciplinary committee to restore public confidence in PR cohesion, coherence, discipline, unity and common sense of purpose.
This is a subject among many others which the People Alliance leadership council will have to address on Friday.