It's official, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on April 6 that he will dissolve Malaysia's Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) on April 7.Having secured the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Malaysia's monarch and the head of state, this clears the way for a general election to be called.
Under Malaysian law, the Election Commission will now decide the date of the election, which must be held within 60 days of the dissolution of Parliament.
But bearing in mind that the Muslim holy month of Ramadan will fall in mid-May, where the majority of Malaysians will be fasting, polling day is expected to be held in early-May.
Based on previous elections, the campaign period can range from as long as 35 days to just eight days.
Wage hike for the civil service
Najib's Barisan Nasional coalition is likely to receive a boost following his pledge to raise the wages of all civil servants.
On April 4, he announced at the Civil Service Premier Gathering that RM1.46 billion (S$496 million) will be given in salary hikes for 1.6 million civil servants across Malaysia.
This annual salary increment will be effective from July 1, 2018. Said Najib, to a standing ovation:
"This means that civil servants will receive an additional annual salary increment on top of the annual salary movement for 2018."
This is not the only incentive that Najib has offered for government workers.
In Oct. 2017, he promised a one-off cash payment of RM1,500 (S$510) for civil servants and RM750 ($S255) for government retirees as part of the 2018 budget.
With the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition facing some administrative problems with the Registrar of Societies, they have an uphill battle ahead.
Top image by Nicky Loh/Getty Images.
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