I refer to the malaysiakini report Get set for polls early next year BN told. Though there has been a rumour that a prime ministerial advisor had wanted to mastermind a blitzkrieg general election in August 2007 so that the 50th Merdeka celebration will be all that sweeter for the prime minister, this now seems unlikely as the Election Commission said it would only be ready to conduct the general election after September.
Najib has told the component party chiefs that a BN convention would be held towards the end of this year, just before the general election is called, to portray the ruling coalition's unity and strength. It would seem that there are plans for the BN (and not the government) to hijack the nation's 50th anniversary celebrations. Najib wants BN parties to lead the celebrations to 'remind people that it was the BN (formerly Alliance) parties that won us independence from the British'.
The 'hijack' will go to the extent of telling the private sector to play down their celebrations so as not to 'overshadow' the BN event. Celebrations have been planned nationwide for a month, so we may expect the entire month of September to be full of festivities and celebrations.
Then, on July 30 and 31, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will do the usual pre-election pork barreling by announcing projects in Kedah, Perlis, Penang and Perak as part of the Northern Corridor Economic Region project. We may also expect reminders of the construction of Penang's second bridge.
And the Budget will be tabled in Parliament on Sept 7. Mark my word, in the midst of the September orgy of celebrations, the BN will deliver a pre-election budget so loaded with goodies that Father Christmas will turn green with envy.
These take us through the fasting month into October where during a wonderful Hari Raya celebration, Umno leaders will have the opportunity to show their 're-conciliatory spirit' a la Islam Hadhari generally consolidating on the feel-good atmosphere.
The feel-good factor will be nearing perfection in October when the first Malaysian would by then be in space. When the feel-good atmosphere has been created and established, one doesn't want its momentum to falter. In fact one would want to capture and exploit that mood at its peak.
My prediction is the general election will be in mid or late November when schools close on Nov 16. Maybe the election will be held on Nov 18 or 25, both being Sundays.
Some opposition parties are currently in disarray, and a mid-November general election will prevent them from having the luxury of time to regroup and consolidate into some form of competitive semblance. I believe the general election will be held in mid-November, unless the BN suffers serious political fallout during the next few months, when then, the date could be postponed to early 2008.