GE14 may be held middle of the year, minister hints

ismail-sabriKUCHING: The general election may be held in the middle of the year, Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob hinted yesterday.

“I don’t know the date of the general election but I believe it will be called soon, maybe in May, June, July or August,” he said when speaking at the Rural and Regional Development Ministry’s Excellent Service Award ceremony at Pullman Hotel here.

The Borneo Post quoted him as saying he expected the Sarawak Barisan Nasional to secure at least 29 of the 31 parliamentary seats in the state in GE14.

“Based on previous track records and analysing the trend in Sarawak, BN will not only be maintained (as government of the day) but Sarawak will contribute immensely to the victory of BN in the general election,” The Borneo Post quoted him as saying.

The report quoted him as saying Malaysians had a choice between keeping the present government which could safeguard the rights and privileges enjoyed by the Bumiputeras or a DAP-led government that emphasised equality for all races.

“Today’s ruling government is taking good care of the Bumiputeras especially with policies protecting their rights and privileges but without hindering or limiting other races from becoming successful in the country,” he said.

Or would people prefer “a government by others who will deny Bumiputera rights,” he asked.

The Borneo Post quoted him as saying: “Of the two options, I think we have no choice… If we want to maintain Bumiputera rights, we have to maintain the BN government.”

According to the report Ismail warned that the civil service would be under serious threat if the opposition became the ruling government.

“The opposition has played up the bloated civil service issue and if the ‘other’ government takes over then half of the civil servants will be out of (a) job,” he claimed.

“So it is up to the civil servants if they want to keep their jobs or choose another government which will throw them out,” he was quoted as saying.

On another matter, Ismail said the Mara Digital Mall would be set up in every state in Malaysia, including Sarawak, following its success since it was launched last year.

The minister said the state Mara director had been instructed to identify a location for the digital mall, either in Kuching or in other towns.