GE13: The guessing game continues

There is an estimated date even for childbirth. It has been five years since the last general election and everyone is still guessing the election date.
Some people believe that the Parliament would be dissolved on 20 March, some said it would be on 22 March and some think it would be on 25 March. It depends on the Prime Minister and we can only continue waiting until he announces the date.
As no one knows when the Parliament will be dissolved, many scheduled plans and programmes have been shelved. For instance, politicians, political party supporters, media practitioners and all in the related fields dare not to take leave even during the one week school holiday which is going to start on 23 March. They are worried that the Prime Minister might suddenly make an announcement to dissolve the Parliament when they are away.
Such a situation has been staged over the past two years and some investment plans have been temporarily halted, affecting the financial operation. Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) former vice president Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng recently said that due to the unknown election date, their company has failed to sell even a unit of house, while the applications for housing loans have also slowed down.
Since the election date has not yet been announced, leaders of both ruling and alternative coalitions are unable to focus on work, but busy attending political activities. For instance, the revised Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025) has not been released, even we have already come to March of 2013.
Mobilisation activities are also cost and manpower consuming. The "My Beautiful Malaysia" volunteer programme was launched on 3 February to attract the participation of young people while the "1Million Women Purple Walk" and the 1Malaysia Komuniti Perwani" programme were launched on 17 March.
To create a favourable election atmosphere, they have implemented one after another money distribution plan, causing the surge of government spending. It has diverged from the deficit reduction plan.
Confrontations have been intensified by the all-time tense election atmosphere and political heat while supporters' emotions are raised. However, they have no way to vent their emotions. I cannot imagine what would happen during the official campaign period.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced in end of January this year that the elections will be held on 14 September. It is the first time in Australia to have a government that made such an early election date announcement. Gillard said that she did not mean to initiate the longest campaign period in Australia's history, but to make clear the time to govern the country and the time to run election campaigns. Announcing the election time early can help individuals, businesses, investors and consumers to arrange their plans for the year.
Why can the Australian ruling party give up the power to decide the election date, but not Malaysia?
The move of the US and other countries to set their election dates early can eliminate the worries of all and everyone can make their own arrangements based on the "election timetable" and focus on their work. Malaysia should also determine its election date to improve productivity.
In addition to stop the practice of leaving the election date decision to the ruling party, the Malaysian electoral system must also be reformed, including the use of proportional representation system. Requiring at least 30% of seats are allocated based on vote ration might be able to avoid a hung parliament.
We have put too much time and efforts in politics, slowing down the country's pace. It is now the time to return to the right path.
-Sin Chew Daily

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