PETALING JAYA: The 13th general election will not be held so soon as the Government’s reform initiatives are not in full swing yet.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who said this in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, said the general election would be held as soon as the economic reforms imposed produce real results.
“Essentially, it’s a call you have to make on the basis of a feel-good factor, and that’s when you press the button,” said Najib in the interview published yesterday.
He also insisted that the Government had to fulfil its promises to the people.
“You can have all the polling numbers but you must have the sense that this is the right time.
“I hope it will be the right time soon enough, but we still have not delivered on our promises and it’s important for people to have the feeling that the reforms we have promised will actually benefit them,” he added.
Najib acknowledged that the deteriorating global economic environment, especially with Europe’s debt crisis, could be a factor on when to dissolve parliament.
“But so far we are still quite comfortable because our exposure to the EU in terms of total trade is only about 9%. So, we are less vulnerable.
“But a Euro-zone collapse or some other catastrophe there will affect the whole world,” he said.
The general election has to be called before April 2013, with much speculation that it could be held as early as March this year.
In the interview, Najib also said Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent acquittal from the sodomy charge underscored the depth of the reform process.
“It shows that, as chief executive of the country, I don’t interfere in the judiciary,” Najib said.
Anwar was acquitted on Monday on a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
The judge ruled that there was a lack of corroborative evidence in the two-year long trial to penalise the former deputy prime minister.
Once the verdict was released, “all of the tension surrounding the trial suddenly fell away and people suddenly realised that there are more important things than just the Anwar issue.
“What is important now is that we move forward,” Najib added.
Source : The Star