Chronology:Malaysian general election, 2013

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Najib Tun Razak has been practically spending all his time campaigning for the 13th general election, ever since he became Prime Minister in April 2009.

2010:

13th general election cartoon
Bagaimana UMNO-BN akan menang Pilihanraya
(Uploaded by TzEwei9100 on 13 January 2013)
  • July: With Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's popularity ranking higher than ever before, observers predicted that the Barisan Nasional (BN) might want the 13th general election to be called earlier to coincide with the Sarawak state elections which must be held by June 2011.[1] But there is one reason why BN might not call for an election as early as 2011. And that is because the redrawing of electoral boundaries, an exercise allowed by law not less than 8 years after the previous one, can at the earliest commence only in 2011. If the analysis that electoral delimitation usually favors the ruling party is true, then BN would want to wait until the completion of the exercise which usually takes 2 years.[1]
  • May 8: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad told Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to delay polls until next year as there was currently too much racial division in the country. The Malaysian Insider reports that Najib was likely to delay snap polls until the end of the year or early 2012, as his party hunts for funds to finance a campaign to court bumiputera and Indian voters in order to secure a two-thirds parliamentary majority.[2]
  • May 10: PKR exposed a document, revealing an attempt by UMNO to convert over 2,000 permanent residents into full citizens to help secure a Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in Hulu Selangor in the 13th general election.[3]
  • May 16: The Barisan Nasional (BN) administration announced a pay rise for 7,000 senior educators and raised the pay ceiling for all teachers as it prepares to call a general election that is expected within the year.[4] Teachers make up a third of Malaysia’s 1.2 million civil servants.[4]
  • May 24: The Democratic Action Party (DAP) announced that it would not agree to holding concurrent elections in Pakatan Rakyat-led (PR) states, should there be snap polls in the year. DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said that the party preferred all 4 PR-led state governments (Penang, Selangor, Kelantan, and Kedah) to complete their full 5-year terms. "But if snap polls are called next year, then there is a greater likelihood that we would agree to hold concurrent elections", he added. In July 2010, the Selangor PR also announced its preference to use its full 5-year mandate and would not hold concurrent elections.[5]
  • June:
    • Ooi Heng, executive director of the political research group Kajian Politik Untuk Perubahan, said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would dissolve the parliament to make way for the polls as early as June before Ramadan, which begins in early August. He argued that it was too risky for the Barisan Nasional (BN) to postpone the dissolution of the current parliamentary session, saying that Najib had "nothing concrete to be shown".[6]
    • PAS's Kuala Selangor Member of Parliament Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad predicted that the election would be held in July, saying Najib would be satisfied with a simple majority. "Najib is not going to get much of the 'feel-good' factor if he were to delay his timing for the 13th GE, only after the Budget 2012. The adverse impact of spiraling prices of daily goods and essential services is not going to be reversed by the many goodies packaged and handed out by Najib in the Budget 2012," he wrote in the Harakah daily.[6]
  • October 19: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak sent out messages on Facebook and Twitter to invite his followers to watch a live broadcast of his favorite football team, Manchester United, play at his official residence in Putrajaya on Sunday, 23 October to charm the younger demographic.[7]

2012

  • May 12: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had breakfast with 4 of his Twitter followers at Chawan Restaurant in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.[8]
  • May: Merdeka Center polls showed 79% of Malays were satisfied with Najib's leadership, up from 74% in February.[9] On the other hand, 72% of Indians were satisfied with Najib's leadership, compared to 80% in February.[9]
  • June 5: Speculation had been rife that Najib may call a general election only after tabling the 2013 Budget on September 28, more than a month after Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. The window for polls before that date was by July 21 when the Ramadhan fasting month begins.[9]
  • June 6: Political parties were allowed limited air-time to promote their election manifestos through Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM). Certain conditions would be imposed, in accordance with what is practised in the Commonwealth and advanced countries or tailored to RTM's needs.[10]
  • June 5: Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim launched the Selangor edition of its social media convention to recruit Barisan Nasional (BN) cybertroopers, admitting that the coming general election will be decided by what people read in the online spectrum. This came barely 2 months after saying that social media will probably die a natural death. As of date, BN had conducted 7 social media conventions in different states, attended by nearly 10,000 participants.[11]
  • September 8: One of Anwar Ibrahim's bodyguards flashed his gun to a group of men in Kampung Baru Rim, Jasin. Video clippings of the incident later surfaced on the Internet. Anwar had said the issue of his gun-flashing bodyguard has pre-empted the other issue of a PKR bus being stopped on that day.[12]
  • September 14: Anwar Ibrahim's Janji Merdeka Rakyat tour of Johor was attacked, this time with nails and stones, pointing to rising tension in Johor, the Barisan Nasional (BN) bastion where Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was making some inroads ahead of the general election.[12] Nails were sprayed on the road leading to the venue of a 800-table dinner in Skudai, while one car in the entourage was dented and scratched in the stone attack. The PKR double-decker campaign bus was splashed with red paint again, for the third time, outside a mosque in Tangkak at the start of the Johor tour. It was reported that two men on a motorcycle hurled the paint.[12] Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein refused to guarantee the safety of Anwar and his Janji Merdeka Rakyat entourage, saying: "No need for guarantees. It is decided by the people of Johor themselves. I think PKR knows this and can judge for itself from what is happening there".[12]
  • Late September: A Merdeka Center poll showed that Sabah voters remained happy with Najib Tun Razak's performance as prime minister, but his Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman's ratings fell sharply from 60% in November 2009 to 45%. Najib's ratings, however, remained high at 75%, just short of the 77% he recorded in November 2009.[13] This suggested that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) would be faced with some hurdles in its stronghold ahead of the 13th general elections, especially since Musa's declining ratings were most marked among Muslim-Bumiputera voters who form the backbone of the state's UMNO support.[13] Musa's ratings among Muslim-Bumiputeras fell from 72% in November 2009 to just 51% in September 2012. Merdeka Center said that voter satisfaction for the state government, however, remained in positive territory at 56% but also reflected a 6% decline from 62% in November 2009. Nevertheless, only 54% of voters polled felt the state was heading in the right direction, as compared to 66% in November 2009. The 4 top reasons for the drop were: [13]
    1. the issue of illegal immigrants;
    2. dissatisfaction with political leadership;
    3. the high cost of living; and
    4. the perception that Sabah was still lagging behind in economic development and infrastructure.
  • October 6: The international weekly magazine Economist said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had failed to hold the 13th general elections when he was still relatively popular, comparing him with the dithering former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[14] Brown spent years trying to push his opponents to a corner but failed to call for the general elections while he was still relatively popular. He was defeated when he called for the elections towards the end of his tenure. In the article, the Economist said that Najib was presently facing the same situation.[14]
  • October 19: About 18,000 civil servants in Sabah would receive a bonus of one-and-a-half months salary, similar to the one received by federal civil servants. Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said it would be paid out in 2 instalments, namely in December 2012 and January 2013.[15] (A half-month bonus was paid out in August 2012.) [15] He also suggested that the maximum vehicle loan for civil servants in the state be raised between 15-33%, according the officer's category. In addition, Musa said the interest rate for the loan would be reduced from 4% to 3%, while the maximum repayment period would be extended from 7 to 9 years, effective 1 January 2013.[15]
  • October 21: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said any time was a suitable time for the 13th General Election, because he felt that the Barisan Nasional (BN) had reached the end.[16]
  • November 14: Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) president Datuk Zainal Abidin Aala was given a surprise 24-hour transfer notice to the Institute of Public Administration (INTAN). The transfer notice, which was issued by the Deputy Director of the Public Service Department (PSD) and received by MPS via email early in the morning, did not state in detail Zainal Abidin's new position, but only ordered him to report to INTAN immediately.[17] The move is believed to be connected with the controversial 29-storey Dolomite Park Avenue luxury condominium project at Batu Caves which was approved by the Selangor Barisan Nasional government in 2007.[17]
  • November 24 - Selangor phantom voters: Despite Selangor's concerns that 28% of new voters in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state could be "phantoms", Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof maintained that it cannot bar those registered as they have a legitimate right to cast their ballot at the 13th general elections: "Under the law, they are registered voters in Selangor and they are legal voters in Selangor, whether you want to call them phantom voters (or not), they are registered. They can vote in Selangor on polling day." [18] He said that the Election Commission (EC) determined a person’s voter constituency based on the address stated in his or her identity card (IC) and not according to the voter's most current residence, which could be among the difficulties the state encountered in trying to track down a particular registered voter. He also pointed out that it was not unheard of for large groups of registered voters, including whole families, to list a common address of one relative or a friend, for the "convenience of the postman" because they lived in remote areas or shantytowns that are not recognized by the authorities and as such do not have a proper house number or even street names.
  • December 8: Pime Minister Najib Tun Razak "lead a final push for Penang this year", reinforcing his Barisan Nasional's (BN) confidence of recapturing Penang,[19] even as he kept the Opposition parties guessing when the general elections would be called.
  • December 9: Najib Tun Razak launched the "Ah Jib Gor Fan Club" to gauge the views of the people, especially the Chinese community in the country. The club was launched at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) via teleconferencing with club members from Sekolah Menengah Yu Yuen, Sandakan, Sabah. "I believe we can use this line of communication to exchange ideas and to make comments from time to time", he said.[20] (On 20 April, Najib allocated RM1 million allocation to the school.) [20]
  • December 26: PKR claimed that Barisan Nasional rewarded Orang Asli people in Tapah with 5 kg of rice each, in return for casting mock ballots in favor of its candidates.[21] (The Election Offences Act states that any person who "without due authority prints any ballot paper or what purports to be or is capable of being used as a ballot paper at an election" could be imprisoned for up to 2 years or fined up to RM5,000 or both.) [21] Election Commission deputy director Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said that the alleged incident appeared to be a voter education programme, rather than an attempt at vote buying or blackmail. He also said that the rice was given to the Orang Asli outside the campaign period and thus was a completely acceptable form of donation. "Only when a donation is given during the campaign period does it become an offence and can be seen as vote-buying", he said. "The ballot paper's appearance changes with every election and will only be revealed on polling day". Wan Ahmad said that producing mock ballot papers outside the campaign period would not be an offence, unless the real ballot papers had already been revealed to the public.[21]

2013:

PSY Gangnam Style at Penang Han Chiang School during Chinese New Year 2013!   (Uploaded by kitkeat on 11 February 2013)
PSY Gangnam Style live in Penang with Najib - Chinese New Year 2013   (Uploaded by BZBODY4U02 on 14 February 2013)
  • January 23: The University of Malaya Centre of Democracy and Election (UMCEDEL) did a survey in which 42% said that Barisan Nasional (BN) would win, while 37% said that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would win. Fence sitters were mainly from the Chinese community and young voters.[22]
  • February 11: The Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) held its Chinese New Year celebrations at the Han Chiang school field, in a gesture of confidence against the DAP-led state government which held the biggest-ever ceramah there before the 2008 general elections. It brought in South Korean Oppa Gangnam Style singer, Psy, which was attended by some 60,000 guests, including BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The open house was part of Penang BN's strategy to win back the state that it lost in the previous general elections.
  • February 12: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak clarified that the performance by South Korean Oppa Gangnam Style singer, Psy, at the Han Chiang school field in Penang did not involve any public money. "The public was not charged for watching it either", he said on his Twitter account.[23]
  • February 16: Australian Senator Nick Xenophon was detained at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal in Sepang in the morning and deported at night. He had planned to meet Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz and Election Commission (EC) officials the following week to discuss Malaysia's electoral system.[24] Immigration Department director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said that Xenophon was deported because he had made statements that allegedly tarnished Malaysia's image, highlighting Xenophon's remarks about the Malaysian government being "authoritarian" in handling the April 2012 Bersih 3.0 rally for free and fair elections.[24]
  • February 19: R.K. Anand reported in Free Malaysia Today that "the grapevine has it that Najib's camp is striking fear in the hearts of non-Malay voters in rural areas about the horrific prospect of Muhyiddin becoming prime minister. These voters are being told that if BN fails to secure a two-thirds majority, then Muhyiddin's faction would push for Najib's head to roll and the nation would lose a prime minister who has been sensitive to the needs of the Chinese and Indians. This campaign is said to be effective... The opposition too could launch a similar campaign, telling these voters that BN has no chance of securing a two-thirds majority and therefore Muhyiddin would become prime minister after the polls. And the only way to prevent this from happening is by voting BN out of Putrajaya".[25]
  • February 27:
    • Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the 13th general election would be Malaysia's first "social media election", echoing views that sites like Facebook and Twitter would be a key battlefront to Barisan Nasional's (BN) defence of Putrajaya.[26] To this day, however, the Internet is still seen an opposition-dominated domain.[26]
    • Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad predicted that the Barisan Nasional would lost in the coming general election, with the coalition winning between 80-85 seats, while Pakatan Rakyat would win 130-135 seats.[27]
  • March 2: Former Barisan Nasional (BN) state leader Dr. Mohd Khir Toyo said that BN would have a separate election manifesto for Selangor to reflect BN's strong intent on regaining Malaysia's richest state in the 2013 general elections.[28] (BN would also have a manifesto, separate from that of the nation, for Sabah and for women.)
  • March 8: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim maintained his prediction of a minimum 10-seat majority for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) over the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in the general elections, according to a Bloomberg report. He was also confident of winning Perak and Negeri Sembilan, in addition to retaining Penang, Selangor, Kelantan, and Kedah.[29]
  • March 9: The Malaysian Insider reported that Pakatan Rakyat was confident of securing nearly 140 parliamentary seats in the general election, with wins in Sabah, Sarawak, and Johor, giving the pact a simple majority to form the government.[29]
  • March 25: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad warned Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that the latter may lose his post if the Barisan Nasional coalition cedes more seats in the coming general elections.[30]
  • March 26: Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim announced that Selangor would dissolve its state legislative assembly 6 days before the Parliamentary mandate ends on 28 April, should Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak chose not to call for elections by then. (The Selangor state assembly mandate ends on 21 April.)
  • March 27: Negeri Sembilan became the first state in Malaysia to dissolve its State Legislative Assembly, as its term expired today. The state would then be under a caretaker government, prior to the state election which must be held within the next 60 days.
  • March 29: The Democratic Action Party (DAP) launched its online television station, Ubah.TV.[31]
  • April 2: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced a "token of appreciation" of RM1,000 each to staff of Petronas, the national oil company, ahead of elections expected soon. He urged Petronas employees to continue backing the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the founder of the national oil firm whose contribution to its success is crucial.[32]
  • April 3: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the dissolution of Parliament.[33]
  • April 4: Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat announced the dissolution of the state legislative assembly effective immediately.[34]
  • April 5: The Penang state assembly was dissolved, after Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang, signed the dissolution at Seri Mutiara, his residence.[35]
  • April 7: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak handed out 1Malaysia motorcycle helmets to his Selangor team as he moved in on the state's youth vote, hoping to draw in the key voter demographic to help lead Barisan Nasional (BN) to a successful conquest of the country's richest state.[36]
  • April 11: MCA President Chua Soi Lek confirmed that he would not be contesting in the 13th general elections, saying the decision was to "prove" he is committed to serving the party and is not clamoring for power. He added that it would be very "self-serving" if he were to offer himself as a candidate after pushing all members to put party interest above personal gain.[37]
  • April 18:
  • April 19: The Registrar of Societies (RoS) sent a letter by hand to the DAP headquarters at 10.00 pm, saying it had no objections to the use of the rocket symbol in GE13.[40]
  • April 20: Nominations centers closed across the nation at 10.00 am, after opening to a frenzy of activity an hour earlier to accept submissions for the 222 federal and 505 state seats being contested in Election 2013.
  • April 24: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attended a ceramah in Taman Universiti in the district of Johor Bahru in Johor. Most of the 1,500 attendees were wearing Puteri Umno's headscarf, or flying PPP flags. The few Chinese who turned up told Free Malaysia Today (FMT) that they are MCA members.[41]
  • April 28: Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed a university electoral study showing him trailing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, saying: "I don't agree with the poll. We have our own poll. My poll indicates that we are ahead". The University of Malaya Centre of Democracy and Election's (UMCEDEL) poll indicated that more than 60% of voters surveyed favored Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) manifesto, compared to just 50% for BN's election pledges. The UMCEDEL survey also showed 43% of respondents believed Anwar was qualified to be prime minister, pipping the caretaker PM by 4 percentage points".[42]
  • April 29: 1Malaysia Brotherhood threw an evening party in Penang which, according to China Press, cost about RM230,000. Lim Kit Siang said: "The whole of Penang was having free food. There were roasted pigs, 1,000 crates of beer, lucky draws with attractive prices. Money was thrown all over the road in the name of 1Malaysia. There was no need for anyone to cook at all. This is open corruption. The EC and MACC are totally useless if they cannot take action." [43]
  • April 30: DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang welcomed a prediction that Pakatan Rakyat would win 10 parliament and 11 state seats in Johor, but he said it might do even better.[43]
  • May 3: Georgetown police busted a syndicate taking bets on the outcome of the 13th general election, following the arrest of 6 bookies who were picked up from Datuk Keramat, Paya Terubong and Relau around 5.00pm in an operation. The 6 bookies had allegedly accepted bets amounting up to RM1 million.[44]
  • May 5: The 13th general election commenced.
  • August 3: The Bar Council, lawyers, and former judicial officers commented on the dismissal of the petitions, based on technical grounds, as well as the high costs that Malaysian courts had awarded during the year, when dismissing election petitions.[45] These had given the impression that the judges were punishing candidates and voters, as well as discouraging litigants from taking the matter further by instilling fear of huge monetary losses. They added that the election petitions cannot be equated to civil and commercial cases, where costs are awarded on preliminary objections, noting it was unprecedented to award exorbitant amounts. Karpal Singh, who has handled election petitions for years, said the costs awarded previously were less than RM20,000, adding the costs was not meant to enrich any party.[45]
  • August 6: Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said that it was turning to the court of public opinion to press its case on election fraud, after failing in the court of law. It said that this was the path it had to take, since its petitions before the court were thrown out, even before the merits were heard. (Almost all 69 petitions filed by both PR and the Barisan Nasional were dismissed on preliminary objections. Parties were also slapped with heavy costs. 7 petitions filed by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) were knocked out and the petitioners were ordered to pay a total of more than RM500,000: [45]

  • September 19: Almost half of the electorate believed that Barisan Nasional (BN) abused its power to retain Putrajaya, a Universiti Malaya survey revealed. Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (Umcedel) said 46% of voters were convinced that the Election Commission helped the BN coalition during the general elections, while 33% of respondents did not believe, and 21% were unsure. The survey, based on interviews with 1,546 voters from all racial backgrounds, was conducted between 15 August and 10 September to gauge the sentiment of the electorate, 3 months after the election. It also showed that 47% of respondents felt that the EC had carried out its duties well, while 41% disagreed, and another 12% were unsure. 50% agreed that the controversy surrounding the indelible ink and allegations of phantom voters had tainted the conduct of the election.[46]