KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is expected to dissolve the parliament in mid-March and call for a general election at the end of March, Sin Chew Daily reported today.
The report, quoting Barisan Nasional (BN) sources, said despite Najib's disclosure at the recent Umno general assembly that the 13th general election could be called this month, the chances of the polls being held this year are slim.
However, Najib's remark prompted another round of speculation, with some
MCA leaders predicting that the election will be held after the Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 10, but the party headquarters believes March will be the month to watch.
Many political punters, too, believe in a March date. A source told the daily the decision to hold the general election in March was in fact made as early as September.
It said BN was unable to set the date due to a number of factors, including Umno's internal problems, seat allocations and Chinese education issues.
Forcing Penang & Selangor
Another factor that caused BN to waver in its election move is the threat by Pakatan Rakyat-led governments of Penang and Selangor to not hold state polls simultaneously with the general election.
And the only way to force the two states to dissolve their state assemblies in tandem with the dissolution of parliament is to hold the general election in March or later.
According to the list of school holidays released by the Education Ministry, schools inKedah,
Kelantan and Terengganu will break from March 22 to 30, and those in
the rest of the country will have their term holidays from March 23 to
As schools are used as polling centres and 80-90% of teachers help out as election workers, it makes sense to hold the general election at the end of March.