Will Najib come back from China ready for snap polls?

By Cordoba.Ali

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Photo Credit: Malaysian Times
Everything is falling into place for the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, with billion dollar deals sealed in China and Malaysia entrenched in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project as well as the Islamists firmly on his side.

So what is he waiting for?

Will he come back to Malaysia from China – amid the juicy Chinese promises of pumping billions into the Malaysian economy – as a major improvement of his overall scorecard that will trigger the next general elections in Selangor?

Or is he waiting for the murky situation in the prized and rich state of Selangor to clear up before he decides on the elections?

With the month of Ramadan rushing in – it starts on May 21 – there is little room for snap polls in the holy month, though this was one of the options discussed earlier by the UMNO chief.

The idea of a poll in Ramadan was apparently rejected since there was no real clarity in the agreement between Najib and the PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang on how the parties will campaign while the Muslim voters are focused on their fasting obligations.

FASTING MONTH

The fact is Najib will be back in Malaysia just in time for him to see that the situation in the state of Selangor with the three PAS exco members in the cabinet of Chief Minister Azmin Ali settled.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat or Justice Party today said it will decide on the fate of the three exco members following mounting pressure from opposition leaders – including Mahathir Mohamad – who are asking the three to resign.

But rumours are the three PAS members will cross-over to the PKR, thus salvaging the opposition government running the state.

If that happens, then it will be difficult for Najib to decide on the snap polls, since it appears he is now banking on a windfall from the downfall of the PKR in the state of Selangor government to hit another nail at their .coffin’.

Najib, speaking to an UMNO crowd at the Bukit Jalil stadium in Kuala Lumpur, triumphantly announced that the PAS ‘shura council’ had decided to severe ties with the PKR.

This, he meant, was a nail in the coffin of the Anwar Ibrahim party and it is possible he is waiting for the PKR to fall in Selangor for his plans to work, since such an event may have a deep impact on the Malay voters living on the fringe of townships and cities and in the villages.

Najib made it clear the UMNO is targeting these voters whom he said were part of the 3.6 million party members.

The problem with elections in this fasting month for the UMNO is that the PAS will use the after breakfast prayers to its advantage.

They will campaign late in the night to rope in the Muslims to vote the PAS.

Rumours have it that Najib rejected the idea of a Ramadan polls after all, whereby the initial idea was to corner the PKR-Bersatu-PAN and DAP opposition coalition during the fasting month.

“They, the opposition, would have found it difficult to lie during the Ramadan,” was the point of view of some.

But as the Sarawak Report said it, the elections could be in July this year.

BUDGET 2017 or NAJIB OUT?

Reason being, there is a deadline for the payment of the money owed to International Petroleum Investment Company of Abu Dhabi in a litigious affair by of July 31.

Yet Najib being himself, and having navigated through the entire 1MDB scandal without scratches – the 1MDB saga strengthened his position in UMNO instead – it might be possible the polls are before the Budget 2017 speech.

However, there are two other possibilities that Malaysians have to prepare themselves for:
1. The first possibility is that Najib is waiting it out to give more time to His cousin brother Hishammuddin Hussein to be show his mettle in his new role was appointed as minister with special functions at the Prime Minister’s Department.

2. The PM may also want to give BN more time to implement people-centric programmes with great promises of putting the ‘people ahead’.

But these are theories that we may discuss another day, since it is still too early to decide whether Najib is ready for the polls or is he instead ready to pull himself out of the spotlight before the polls!