If the elections were held today, there is every indication that the Barisan Nasional Government will be ousted and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad may once again be entrusted to lead the country.
This is because the dissatisfaction with Najib’s government grows daily especially among the Malays. The Prime Minister’s decision to enforce GST and coupled with cuts to key Government services, such as Higher Education, has triggered a silent rebellion among the key Malay electorate.
Slowly but surely signs are emerging that Pakatan Harapan is beginning to make serious inroads into previously staunch UMNO “safe areas”. It happened in Melaka, then in Kedah and now even in Terengganu. Felda seats are also beginning to look shaky as the effect of the crippling debts and lack of opportunity for Generation 2 voters are making things “boiling hot” on the ground.
Pakatan Harapan route to power is becoming clearer by the day, and this is even if PAS “Hadi” decides to form an electoral pact with UMNO. This is because PAS supporters are beginning to reject the parties leadership and are willing to buck the trend and vote Pakatan Harapan candidates. Hadi has simply failed to be an effective leader and is seen more as Najib’s man in the party.
Whilst the Malays had initially not paid attention to national issues like 1MDB, the rising cost of goods is something that has hit the community hard. Perceived inflation is now rising to almost 20% which has caused significant hardship and dissatisfaction. Whilst the rural community is not interested in 1MDB, they have taken note of Tun Dr Mahathir’s tenacity in explaining the issue and are beginning to grasp the key points behind this scandal. What the people cannot accept is that it is in their words “plain evil” for people to be enriched to billions of dollars while they are being forced to cut expenditure and suffer.
This may lead to an unprecedented situation no one thought possible – Tun Dr Mahathir, who is turned 92, may be entrusted to become Prime Minister once again.
If Tun Dr Mahathir indeed becomes Prime Minister, he will definitely be in a much better position to address some of the problems facing the country.
Off the bat, he will be able to return 1/3 of the GST collection, or RM 10 billion, to the lower income society by enforcing financial discipline in the Prime Ministers department. Under Najib, the country is spending on average RM 10 billion more
Dr Mahathir could also go to some length to recover some of the RM 20 billion stolen through the 1MDB scandal, not to mention billion others that has been stashed away due to decades of corrupt practices.
He could also enforce a one time wealth tax for the richest 5% of the country in order to help balance the country’s ballooning debt pile. Currently, projects like the MRT and ECRL and the explicit guarantee on 1MDB debt, whilst off the Government books, is still a liability that will need to be need to be repaid from Government coffers.
More importantly, Dr Mahathir has realized the benefit of a clean and transparent Government. Under his leadership, the currency will strengthen, wealth will be distributed to the masses, corruption will be addressed and the people will be happy once again.