Tight race expected in Malaysia polls tomorrow

Kaula Lampur, May 4: Malaysians vote tomorrow in what is expected to be a closely-contested general election, with the ruling coalition led by Premier Najib Razak, confident of winning and completing 57 straight years in power since the country's independence from Britain.

However, the opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim too is very upbeat and its leader has already unveiled a 100-day roadmap including waiving all higher education loans, and abolishing highway tolls if voted to power.

Malaysia's eight per cent minority ethnic Indian community has been wooed by both sides for votes.

The last polls had seen a huge swathe of ethnic Indians supporting the opposition alliance.

An independent survey showed the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition was running neck and neck with the opposition alliance ahead of the May 5 general elections.

A poll by Merdeka Centre predicted Najib's coalition could win 85 parliamentary seats and the three-party opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim will take 89 seats.

It said 46 seats were too close to call while two seats will go to smaller parties. The Barisan holds 135 seats in the 222-member Parliament, while Anwar's People's Alliance has 75 seats.

Meanwhile, Anwar said today that the focus of opposition roadmap must be pro-people and consist of measures that will have both immediate impact, and long-term benefits.

Under the roadmap, petrol prices would be slashed, all education loans waived and gradual abolishment of highway tolls would be commenced within 30 days, if the People's Alliance wins power.

If the opposition wins, it will mark a remarkable comeback for Anwar, a former deputy prime minister who was fired in 1998 and subsequently jailed on corruption and sodomy charges that he vehemently denied.

He was released from jail in 2004 and now is the de facto opposition leader.

Anwar's alliance shot into political limelight in the 2008 general elections when it won more than a third of seats in parliament and gained control of several states, taking the Barisan totally by surprise.

The momentum was spurred by discontent about corruption and racial and religious discrimination.

The Merdeka Centre polled 1,600 people between April 28 and May 2, and showed 42 per cent agreed the opposition should be given a chance to govern while 41 per cent supported the Barisan.

About 13.3 million Malaysians are eligible to vote for parliament members and lawmakers in 12 state legislatures tomorrow while a fifth of the voters will be voting for the first time.

Posted by Unknown on 04:06. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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