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Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia Announces Dissolution of Parliament

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At 11:30 am today on live television, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the dissolution of Parliament, paving the way for the country’s 13th General Elections.

In a 15-minute televised announcement today, the Prime Minister said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong gave his consent to the dissolution.

Flanked by deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and accompanied by his full Cabinet, Najib in the televised announcement, requested as state chief ministers and menteri besar to seek permission from their respective state heads to dissolve their state assemblies.

He mentioned the transformation he had carried out in the country through the National Transformation Programme.

He said that the Malaysian government is a responsible government, that keeps the interest of their people above all else. The leader added that they do keep their promise; when they are given the trust, they preserve it.

Razak is Malaysia’s sixth prime minister after dethroning former leader Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in 2009.

It was exactly four years ago, April 3, when Razak took seat and overthrew Abdullah who hails from the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).

The BN long held two-thirds majority in parliament to the opposition led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in the 2008 parliamentary election.

In the televised announcement, Najib thanked the Malaysians for their faith in BN and said the ruling coalition will go to ‘every corner’ of the country to explain to the people why they should be given the chance to continue leading the nation.

However, he also promised that if there was a change of power, be it at state or federal level, the transition would be both smooth and peaceful, being their commitment to democracy.

The media has gone into overdrive in the past few hours, detailing Najib’s arrival at the Palace to have his audience with the King at 8.45am.

Yesterday, government-backed newspapers front-paged the possible dissolution of parliament today, setting off frenzied speculation on the possible dates for polling.

This will be Najib’s first attempt to seek a mandate since taking over from ex-prime minister Abdullah who led BN to its worst electoral outing in 2008, losing five states.

In those elections, Pakatan Rakyat gave BN a bloody nose, denying them their two-thirds Parliament majority as well as wresting control of four states (while retaining the PAS stronghold of Kelantan).

Five years on, the effect of Najib’s transformation plans will be put to the test in what is going to be the most tightly contested elections in Malaysian history.
There are 222 parliamentary seats up for grabs, with the ruling BN currently holds 137 seats, Pakatan Rakyat, 75, and the other 10 going to independents and three other parties. Whichever coalition that wins 112 seats will claim power.

Meanwhile, Pakatan controls four states – Selangor, Penang, Kelantan and Kedah, while BN has nine under its belt.

This time around, Najib is seen as facing an increasingly cohesive Pakatan Rakyat, which aims to unseat the ruling party and install Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim as the prime minister.

This election will see a huge number of new voters – an increase of 3 million, or 25 percent, since 2008 GE, making it the biggest spike in Malaysia’s history.

Source: my.news.yahoo.com, malaysiakini.com, wikipedia

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