KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has dismissed speculations that he will call for general elections before the expiry of his Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s mandate in 2018.
Najib said he opposed calling early elections before the deadline, adding that such a decision should not be based on “any single factor”.
“We rest on our record. We have a strong record and we will continue to tell the Malaysian people that our government is still the best choice,” he was quoted by international news wire Reuters as telling a news conference in Berlin, Germany.
Word of national polls being held as early as March next year gained currently earlier this month when business news wire Bloomberg cited several anonymous leaders from the prime minister’s party Umno saying so, to leverage on the disunity within the Opposition parties.
The original three parties that formed a pact called Pakatan Rakyat in the wake of the landmark 2008 general elections, PKR, PAS and DAP, broke up in the middle of last year due to leadership disagreements.
They have since gone on to form new alliances while another newcomer party has emerged, comprising mostly rebels from Umno, seeking to form a grand Opposition coalition by year end, if Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) protem president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is to be believed.
PPBM vice-president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir recently called for the Opposition parties to consolidate under a single banner to avoid splitting the voter base, and mooted “Barisan Rakyat” as their new call sign.
Several BN component parties have also announced their readiness to go to the polls, indicating that they have shortlisted their election candidates.