BN may win two-thirds majority on boundary redraw


KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional may win a two-thirds majority in Parliament if the redelineation of electoral boundaries by the Election Commission is approved.

A Bloomberg report says the biggest concern of the fractured opposition is how new electoral boundaries might impact the vote.

Opposition parties are among those who have filed more than 800 objections in the past month against the EC’s proposed redraw, it said.

The opposition claims the redelineation, often along ethnic lines, will benefit Umno, the backbone of the ruling BN.

Najib’s coalition is 16 seats short of having a two-thirds majority in Parliament, which would allow it to amend the Constitution unopposed.

Even some BN component parties have expressed concern over the adjustments to some constituencies, the report noted.

Bloomberg quoted James Chin, the director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, as saying: “Najib is hoping for a big win in the next general election. I predict if the current boundaries are approved, BN will be heading for a big victory.”

Bloomberg quoted Gerakan Vice-President Dominic Lau Hoe Chai as saying the aim of the BN was to get a two-thirds majority in the coming general election.

“As long as the component parties are united and the opposition continues to split, then it’s possible,” he added.

The report said the government would probably use the budget, to be announced Friday, to ease voter worries amid a slowing economy.

Najib might announce an increase in cash handouts and unveil steps to provide more affordable housing, it said.

“This is an important budget for the Malaysian market,” Bloomberg quoted Gan Eng Peng, head of equity strategies and advisory at Affin Hwang Asset Management, as saying.

“If the budget is overly people friendly and expansionary, the market will read it as the government laying the groundwork for an election.”