PETALING JAYA: A forecast of a general election in March by the Bloomberg news service was described as speculation today by deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said Bloomberg’s conclusion was reached using the predictions of unnamed Umno leaders polled by the news service.
“That is a prediction based on structured sampling which they did,” he was quoted as saying.
“But the reality is that we must keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and while the leaders in the government, BN and Umno don’t deny that the survey was done academically, but the reality is different,” he said at a press conference today, according to Malay Mail Online.
Another prediction, of elections in May or June, was made yesterday by Ibrahim Ali of the Malay rights group Perkasa. He based his forecast on the unwillingness of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to allow a new party, Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, to gather strength.
The Registrar of Societies has given approval in principle for the registration of the new party, founded by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is its chairman, with former Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin as president. Dr Mahathir has said he intends to oust Umno and BN from power.
The current Parliament’s term ends in May 2018, and elections must be held no later than 60 days after that. The prime minister, Najib Razak, has said that the elections would be held in 2018.