GE is coming. It is now immaterial when PM dissolves Parliament. It has to be held by June 28 at the latest, and now it is almost April.
So far, most observers would agree that this is one battle that is not easy to judge the outcome. The whole situation is so fluid, that this is the first time in the history of Malaysia that there is a real chance for the incumbents to fall. But as incumbents, they still hold the upper hands, and as I have mentioned before, the gradient of the uphill battle is now less steep, but it is still an uphill battle.
One fact is very clear and most people would agree: Most urban people are eager to vote for change. But among the rural and semirural areas, things are not as rosy for the opposition.
While the opposition may gain some seats in Johore, Sarawak and Sabah, they need to create a tsunami there in order to win GE 13.
Many months ago, I have told a foreign observer that one of the cards that PM will play is that he will tell people that his position is not strong, and if he doesnt win convincingly, he will be toppled by his own people in his party, even if BN wins. By playing this card, he can hope to win back some of the votes even among the ethnic Chinese voters, especially those older ones in smaller towns and rural areas, who would prefer him than his deputy.
This is exactly what he is doing now. He is now saying that without a convincing win, he may lose his job. This may create fear among some of the oldr voters since to many people, the perception is that his replacement would be worse than this PM. SO his play is to tell this group that if you vote for opposition, and opposition is unlikely to win, then you would have a worse PM than him.
While this may help swing votes for PM, based on his own personal merits, I think we need to convince people that having come so far, we need to consolidate the 2 party system by voting in the other side for once.
At this stage, it is in my humble opinion that the opposition pact must try to win as much support from the majority race as possible. In my observation and calculation , and of course I could be wrong, many of the Malay votes have indeed gone back to BN. Without winning a sizeable portion of the Malay votes, political reality would make it difficult for PR to govern, even if they win the GE. A sizeable portion means at least 40% of Malay support. Theoretically, PR can win by winning over 80% of nonMalay vots and just over 30% of Malay votes; but that kind of government would not be healthy.