KUALA LUMPUR: The Economist Intelligence
Unit (EIU), part of respected London-based
Economist, predicts that Barisan
Nasional will win the 13th general election
based on its successful track record, Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's
reform agenda and his successful economic
For international observers, the outcome of
the upcoming polls is already clear, that
Barisan will be victorious, the EIU said.
It also said the opposition Pakatan Rakyat
has been making "costly promises" to gain
power, and these were a big stumbling block.
On all these counts, Pakatan Rakyat comes a
distant second, prompting the EIU to predict
Barisan to be be the winner.
The EIU, a think-tank which offers regular
country, industry and risk analysis, said
"it is clearly not feasible" for Pakatan to
implement all of its campaign promises.
For example, providing free secondary
education would cost the Government RM43bil
while abolishing car duties would cut tax
revenue by RM4.6bil a year, it said.
The EIU pointed out that Pakatan had broken
many of its earlier promises, including
financial assistance for pre-school
education, for university students, senior
citizens and the disabled; free healthcare
for those over 65; lower property taxes; and
assistance for home buyers.
In Selangor, for example, Barisan claimed
that Pakatan had implemented only 15% of its
31 election pledges, worth RM2.4bil, made in
its 2008 general election manifesto.
"Selangor Mentri Besar (Tan Sri Abdul) Khalid
that a manifesto is not a promise but
conceded that voters may think otherwise,"
the EIU noted.
"The stakes are high for both ... the
bidding war is likely to continue as both
sides make preparations for what is being
billed as one of the hardest-fought
elections in Malaysia's history,” the report
"Both will need to appeal to young,
first-time voters, given that nearly three
million people in this crucial voting block
have been added to the electoral register
since the last election," it added.
The EIU claimed the "bulk of this group" was
undecided about which party to vote for and
could swing the outcome of the election.
Najib needs to win big in order to secure
the future of his reform agenda, while on
the other hand, Opposition Leader Datuk
Seri Anwar Ibrahimwants to be the
first to break Barisan's stranglehold on
A key reason for the ruling coalition's
strong morale is the "gravity defying"
growth of 5.2% that the country is enjoying
under Najib's leadership, along with a jump
in domestic and foreign investments.
And to top it all, per capita income hit
US$9,700 from US$7,500 in 2010.
The EIU agrees with the upward trajectory:
"Following an estimated expansion of 5.2% in
2012, we expect GDP to grow at the same rate
during the 2013-17 forecast period."
Growth figures announced Wednesday by the
Statistics Department showed that the
economy accelerated to 6.4% growth in the
last quarter of 2012 and supporting the full
year growth to expand by 5.6% from 5.1% a
Against such a backdrop, the EIU said: "No
wonder the writing is on the wall for
Pakatan as it tries to cobble together some
opposition unity between its squabbling
leaders before the polls." - Bernama
Reference: The Star
Published: Thursday February 21, 2013
MYT 8:36:00 PM