Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had a good chance to hold early polls this year but decided otherwise and this could prove as one of the many miscalculated moves by the Barisan Nasional leader.
But political pundits in Kuala Lumpur are of the view the PM decided not to hold early polls this year for ‘astrological’ reasons.
They said Najib has a particular fad for double digits such as 13-13 which represents the date he called for the first General Elections as PM on May 13, 2013. The first 13 standing for the May 13 and the second 13 for 2013.
And the dates should fall on weekends, as he does not seem to have preferences for weekday polls. A weekend election, preferably on a Sunday would mean a chance to call for a public holiday on Monday if the BN were to win big.
They told TISG that if one looks at the 2017 calendar, the only times the double digits of 17-17 appears on a Sunday are in the months of September and December.
“September was not the right time to hold the polls though he could have used the long holidays to woo voters (Sept 16 is Malaysia Day celebrating the union of the Borneo states with Malaya),” said an observer.
The source said Najib would not be able to call for elections on Dec 17, which is a Sunday, since the House of Parliament is in the midst of debating the Budget 2018.
The House has already passed the second reading before the Budget is referred to the committee stage.
What is certain now is that the next elections will be held next year, but the 18-18 numbers that fall on a Sunday are not scarce in 2018.
The year starts with 2 consecutive months with the 18-18 challenge. They are the months of February and March, which has a Sunday the 18th. But yet again, the Chinese New Year falls on the 16th of February, thus making it virtually impossible for the elections to be held on Feb 18.
There is also a Saturday, August 18, and a November Sunday 18. Both dates are too far from the official deadline for elections to be held in Malaysia in 2018.
“This leaves us with March 18. The perfect date for Najib.”
Unless he decides otherwise, pundits are banking on a 18-18 date for the GE14 as the 17-17 date is almost a lost cause, though nothing can stop the Malaysian PM from dissolving the Parliament after the Budget passes through all the stages in the Parliament!