Polling day for Malaysia general election on May 9, battle between Najib & Mahathir to be decided
Let's get ready to rumble.
On April 10, Malaysia’s Election Commission announced the date that political observers have been waiting for.
The 14th Malaysia General Election will take place on May 9, with nomination being Apr 28.
Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will take on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, made up of an alliance of opposition political parties.
The leader of that opposition? None other than former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who left his original UMNO party to team up with his former protégé and rival Anwar Ibrahim.
Mahathir is 92 years old, but he feels that age is not a barrier as he seeks to dislodge his other former protégé, Najib, from the top job.
Despite Mahathir’s personal popularity, and the fact that the BN performed badly in the last election with Najib losing the popular vote, the election looks to be an uphill battle for the PH.
Electoral boundary change
The recent changes to the electoral boundaries, which was passed in Parliament on March 28, supposedly does not favour the opposition.
According to Channel NewsAsia, five opposition MPs argued that voters were distributed unevenly across seats. Some pro-opposition constituencies now had over 100,000 voters while pro-establishment ones were around 30,000, in states like Selangor.
This might mean that more people could vote for the opposition, but wind up sending an equal number of establishment MPs to Parliament.
Najib has denied that his government influenced the report by the Election Commission, saying:
“The government did not disturb or influence the EC in their work, and respects decisions made by EC in the interest of the people and the country.”
PH has other problems, with Mahathir’s own party issued a temporary disbandment order by the Registrar of Societies for supposedly not providing proper paperwork.
And BN appears to be on a roll, after Najib announced a wage hike for civil servants and revealed a manifesto with support for women and less-fortunate citizens.
But with about a month to polling day, it’s anyone’s guess as to how the election will shake out.
The road to GE 2018 has already seen a number of twists and turns.
Expect more to follow.
Top image adapted from MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images.