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BN vs PR election forecasts

AS Malaysia faces the most keenly contested general election since Independence, what are both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat coalitions saying about their respective chances of forming government?

Barisan Nasional (BN)
Najib Razak

“That is our target, to achieve a two-thirds majority, and we will go all out to achieve that.”

BN chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, expressing confidence that the BN will regain a two-thirds majority in the 13th general election (GE13), at a press conference after his winding-up speech at the Umno General Assembly in December 2012. He believed the momentum generated at the assembly and party spirit could be sustained until the elections. (Source: Najib: BN confident of two-thirds majorityBernama, 2 Dec 2012)

“In addition to retaining 140 seats, BN is confident of winning five of 23 parliamentary seats held by PAS, ten of 31 seats held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and five seats held by the DAP.

“With the 140 seats plus the 20 seats, BN will have 160 seats, which is more than two-thirds majority.”

Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan believes the BN has halted the 2008 political tsunami with its 1Malaysia concept and welfare programmes. He said the BN is most confident of regaining Kedah, followed by Selangor, Kelantan and Penang. In addition, he is certain that Chinese voters will swing back to the ruling coalition in the upcoming polls. (Source: BN can win 160 parliamentary seats, get two-third majority, says Ahmad MaslanBernama, 12 March 2013)

Our latest intel is indicating that we could add 11 more seats where Pakatan have failed to resolve [their] negotiations so there is a huge possibility that we would have multi-cornered fights there.

“On the same note, we can also win four more in Sabah and Sarawak.

Ahmad Maslan at a press conference at Umno’s headquarters. He said the BN would bag another 15 federal seats, on top of his earlier prediction, bringing its total win from 160 to 175 seats. He said this was because the PR had failed to resolve the contentious issues in its discussions on seat allocation. (Source: BN confident can bag another 15 seats due to Pakatan infightingThe Malaysian Insider, 13 April 2013)

Pakatan Rakyat (PR)


“I don’t want to sound overconfident, but I believe looking into the trend now, it will be a comfortable majority.

“Beyond 10 is comfortable.”

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, predicting that the PR will win the national elections with a majority of more than 10 seats and control at least six of the 13 states. (Source: Anwar predicts minimum 10-seat majority in Malaysian pollBloomberg, 8 March 2013)

“[M]y dream results for the GE13, i.e. PR winning with a good and comfortable majority of at least 125 parliamentary seats […]  – with a distribution of 45 MPs for PKR and 40 MPs each for DAP and PAS.

“Although Umno/BN seems at present to enjoy an edge over PR, GE13 is going to be a very tight race and the general election campaign itself will be the final determinant as to which coalition will win in the race for the Federal Government in Putrajaya.”

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang foresees that the PR could emerge victorious in GE13 with either a narrow or comfortable majority. The PR holds 82 seats in Parliament after they denied the BN of its two-thirds majority in 2008.

Lim said Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had conceded that the PR could win GE13 with a slim majority of 12 to 22 seats. But Lim hopes the PR would win with at least a 28-seat majority, giving the young coalition a comfortable victory. He said the PR targets to win more than nine seats in Johor, and more seats in Sabah and Sarawak to oust the BN. (Source: My dream results for the 13GE, Lim Kit Siang’s blog, 28 February 2013)

I actually think we will do really well. This is a campaign for BN to lose and PR to win. I have never seen the BN so defensive as they are now to start their campaign on a negative note. Once your opponent starts on a negative note, you have won.

“But to have the perfect storm, all the stars must be aligned. All voters must come out to vote.

“On 6 May, I’m very sure you’ll see a new prime minister.

PKR central leadership council member Elizabeth Wong, who is also a caretaker exco member in the PR’s Selangor government, on 11 April 2013. Wong was one of the panel speakers at an Institut Rakyat forum, GE13: Election A to Z and Role of Caretaker Government, which was held in Petaling Jaya.

Constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas, who was a co-panelist, also said he was confident that, if there was an 80% voter turnout on 5 May, “God willing, Anwar will be sworn in as the PM”.

In March, PAS election director Dr Hatta Ramli said he believed that up to nine states may fall to the PR, adding that disgruntled Malaysians were waiting to vote out the ruling coalition.

In 2008, the PR won five states: Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan. However, in 2009, the BN wrested Perak away following the crossing over of four state assemblypersons to the BN. (Source: Reporting by Jacqueline Ann Surin at the Institut Rakyat forum). The Nut Graph

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36 Responses to “BN vs PR election forecasts”

  1. JW Tan says:

    My guess is that PR will win the state governments of Selangor, Perak, Johor, Kelantan, Penang and Kedah. Maybe even Terengganu. But not enough parliamentary seats to form a new government. They might come very close (100+ seats), but it will still be a BN (more accurately UMNO) government. MCA and MIC will probably be wiped out.

  2. ellese says:

    I find PR propaganda for change is fraught with risk. They know it’s very unlikely or near impossible to win but pushing for it makes a lot of fence-sitters think whether PR can rule and administer our nation better than BN. Their politics of hate and ABU can work on many but it does not address the fact of how they intend to run. From the basic question of who is going to be PM and the constant reminder of incessant fights on ideology to the dearth of real policies and play on racial Chinese sentiments, all these make fence-sitters wonder if they can govern. Populist policies like low petrol [prices] and utilities cost, though appealing to hard core, make fence-sitters wonder whether they are responsible, sincere and able to govern. On the other hand, BN has proven beyond doubt their capability to govern and manage the economy despite the shortcomings.

    PR could have scored a convincing victory by taking a real position on consistency. Time and again [we] were astound by a duplicitous stand on issues. For example they condemn BN of having a budget deficit that will increase debt and bankrupt our nation. But PR had no qualms in having a deficit budget that increased our debt. Or condemn Umno of playing racial sentiments but have no qualms about DAP playing the Chinese sentiment. Or condemn and promise to abolish toll but just promised to add a new tunnel toll having the same rate as their condemned BN toll rates. There are too many to quote. Had they addressed these it would be a comfortable victory.

    • Wave33 says:


      What you have done is to throw doubts. Unscrupulous commentators always [use] this method of argument. It is a dishonest judgement, after looking at how Penang and Selangor were managed.

      Quote: On the other hand, BN has proven beyond doubt their capability to govern and manage the economy despite the shortcomings.

      >> This is really laughable from a person as critical as Ellese. A very dishonest statement again. PR has not given the opportunity to govern the federal government yet. UMNO REFUSES to govern even given the absolute power to do so. Here are the few examples:

      1. Refuses to charge all those corrupt VVIP UMNO elites.
      2. Refuses to detain those who are racist and brings division among Malaysians.
      3. Refuses to find the motive and the people who instructed the murder of Altantuya.
      4. Refuses to do electoral reform.

      Power is given to UMNO but UMNO refuse to govern. What did you say, Ellese… “proven beyond doubt”? Are you honest about it?


      • Walter Poon says:

        I agree with Ellese that UMNO has “proven beyond doubt”… proven beyond doubt that it is there to enrich its members. An RM1,940 night-vision binoculars bought by the Marine Department for a whopping RM56,350 with public funds… our money. And if that is not enough, what was received was a NON-night vision marine binoculars worth RM1,069!!! And the best part? No action taken… and this is just a minor incident, not worth mentioning. But if I were to touch on the rest, it’s just like disturbing the hornet’s nest!!!

    • JW Tan says:

      I disagree that BN has proved that it can manage the economy. The last time it did something sensible was during the Asian currency crisis in the late 90s. Since then, all it has done is inflate, tax and spend. Our debt to GDP ratio has risen 10 percentage points in the last 3 years, as a result of persistent budget deficits. I don’t believe official inflation numbers, because they feel too low. I suggest you read Tony Pua’s The Tiger That Lost Its Roar. It is a good skeptical analysis of Malaysia’s political economy.

      Contrast that with the experience of Penang and Selangor under PR state governments. Budget surpluses, in Selangor’s case a swing from deficit to RM3bn surplus in 3 years. Penang made big savings (more than 20% of state budget) by reducing waste and graft. Selangor made some strides in restructuring the awful water industry, and some water is now free.

      I agree that Kedah and Kelantan do not have track records as good under their state governments. But I still see it as positive. DAP and PKR have proven that they have economic competence. Put them in power and see if they can do the same for Malaysia.

    • Better My says:

      Ell: “Their politics of hate and ABU can work on many but it does not address the fact of how they intend to run”. No, no politics of hate by PR, maybe some politics of seeking justice for the wrongs done to country and strong cases of perceived stolen money, coming from pro change rakyat. I see a much better PR government, as already observed in work in progress from the PR run states. Once the fed is under PR, I see they will run Malaysia well from the simple fact that their policies are quite in tune with good governance, quite up there with developed country standards. Any major deviation from good governance is going to be pointed out by the rakyat in the new open media. [We have been] denied that opportunity for decades till now, at times in the recent past, we got locked [up] for offering views, via ISA.

      Ell: “Populist policies like low petrol [prices] and utilities cost, though appealing to hard core, make fence-sitters wonder whether they are responsible, sincere and able to govern”. When Umno offers the much wider range populist policies akin to bribes like at GE, you conveniently kept your silence, hardly a fair critic. PR has financial room to move to return money to the rakyat, from the fact that once they are in the fed office, they are going to cut wastage, corruption, increase utilities efficiencies, reduce cost – able to return money to the rakyat, raise total accountability, including Petronas. We expect much better budget control to cut the record deficit, convert it into a surplus, as trade will increase under good governance.

    • Better My says:

      Ell: “But PR had no qualms in having a deficit budget that increased our debt”. There is good budget deficit and there is bad budget deficit. Umno’s record deficit is bad deficit as a lot of the expenses go to [the] bloated civil servant wages, siphoning off from dubious corrupt like mega deals transactions. There is no clear way for Umno to pay this deficit off, as their focus is quite entirely on re-electing themselves, perceived by many to be crooked means via fraud like EC. We have confidence that any deficit created from PR would be in time funded from the savings of cost cutting, higher productivity, increased business trade internally & externally and most importantly, there will be much higher accountability as the rakyat would demand it, whereas the Umno govt has very shockingly poor accountability. There is light at the end of the tunnel, escape clause for PR, none in Umno govt.

      Elli: “Or condemn and promise to abolish toll but just promised to add a new tunnel toll having the same rate as their condemned BN toll rates”. I am confident, PR would have done their costing homework before they release their statement. In the event that their costing wont hold up in public discussion, the rakyat will seek out PR politicians’ reversal or decide other ways of funding. We will have that important opportunity to interact which we don’t have for now. When the rakyat and experts are with the PR fed govt on any problems, the good solutions will come.

      Eli: “PR could have scored a convincing victory by taking a real position on consistency. Time and again [we] were astound by a duplicitous stand on issues”. PR has been relatively consistent. They will be work in progress on the PR govt to the many finer issues. Rakyat, politicians, experts will help to shape the direction under good governance guidelines. We are never given that opportunity by Umno.

  3. JW Tan says:

    How, indeed, does DAP play on Chinese sentiments? The DAP acknowledges the reality, in that its supporters are mainly ethnic Chinese. However, their aspiration is to appeal to all Malaysians, and they are trying very hard to move beyond their traditional supporter base. Could someone please give some examples of how they pander to the ethnic Chinese community specifically?

  4. Aero says:

    It’s hard to keep a straight face to read the ambitions of the so called Pakatan Rakyat’s wishes and hopes, while all this time they are identified by different logos or insignia. If the logos mean anything, it can conveniently translate that there are 3 different parties with 3 different ideologies. Anything to do about “fighting the same cause” is as lame as something that goes along the line of anti-corruption and graft – with the intention of stirring people’s emotions on money and all things material.

    Lord knows better if these [people] can be truly saints all. Not mere [people], but politicians to be exact.

    • JW Tan says:

      Of course, the fact that they have to use different insignia is the Registrar of Societies’ doing. Who supervises the ROS? Why, a certain UMNO minister.

      DAP candidates had multiple nomination letters, some even had 3, signed by all 3 PR component parties. Politics is the art of compromise. PAS, PKR and DAP have learnt to compromise in pursuit of one goal – to serve the rakyat better than the BN government. Admittedly that is a rather low bar.

  5. ellese says:


    Since Nut Graph has allowed the attack of dishonesty against me, Nut Graph must allow me to defend my name.

    1) Wave has been hounding me. He has always condemned me against making personal attacks. Look at how hypocritical he is making baseless dishonest personal remarks above.

    2) I have always called for a proper comparative debate of state performance. All have backed out. I see most don’t apply the same standards. Most apply different benchmarks depending who their support. Some international acceptable economic benchmarks, for example, poverty stats, are used or not used depending on whether you support the person or not. Similarly with many other benchmarks like growth, GDP, inflation, healthcare or in other words quality of life benchmarks. Almost all are selective. In a forum where Wave was involved all of them have refused to debate this. So I’m not dishonest. It’s Wave being selective and dishonest.

    3) On his argument on the Umno fault, where is the dishonesty. My argument was that despite its shortcomings it’s still managing the economy well. This is a statement of fact. You want to argue it could be better it’s up to you. But the stats are there for us to see. It’s internationally acceptable stats.

    Now let me prize open Waves hypocritical stand.

    1) On corruption. Remember PR promised that they will charge Umno VVIPs at [the] last election? They got hold of Selangor and not a single lodgement of previous alleged corruption. So blame PR as well.

    2) To detain racist [people] who divide our country. This is a crazy dictatorial attitude. But never mind I take it through. DAP has been from day one [supporting a] racist policy of dividing our young by race. We should lock up DAP. They are racist and dividing our nation.

    3) Altantuya motives. I have told him many times that motives are not an ingredient to a crime. Intention or mens rea is. In Baginda’s case there’s men’s rea proven, thus the sentencing. There’s even motives admitted by Baginda. But there was no intention or mens rea by him thus he was not sentenced.

    4) On electoral reform, I had this discussion many times. Wave doesn’t even know what he wants. I had gone [over] one by one which one of Bersih’s arguments is reasonable and which is not under the present law. For example the call [for] free and fair media is only on MSM. I call for all media including pro PR AM to [apply the] SPJ standard but he disagreed pula.

    Our main problem is that all our political parties practice undemocratic practices including PR. Look at the fraudulent undemocratic practices of PKR’s internal election. Look also at DAP’s recent election where a sizable number of electorates complained that they were denied the right to vote. Apa ni? […]

    • JW Tan says:

      Ellese, with regards to your point on racial division, vernacular education is supported by BN as well. So you would have to lock up most of the Chinese people in the country. Of course, this foments racial division, which means you would have to lock yourself up too. The key to untangling this reductio ad absurdum is to accept that the idea of vernacular education is not in itself racist. The implementation of it is.

      With regards to different states’ economic performance, do you know if there is a BN-ruled state that showed as strong turnarounds as Selangor and Penang?

    • Better_my says:

      Ellese: “… managing the economy well”. How can you argue that Umno is managing the economy well? The economy is underpinned [by a] record national deficit of 540 billion? Have you heard this? If you have another uncosted expense, say 60 billion for cash handouts, you have to borrow the money from somewhere, then the deficit becomes 600 billion.

      Ell: “They got hold of Selangor and not a single lodgement of previous alleged corruption.” We all know the legal system is quite damaged […] This has been proven for many legals cases that have gone nowhere. Post GE, PR Fed win, a restored legal institution over time with more real independent judges, we expect to see a lot of corruption cases.

      Ell: “DAP has been from day one [supporting a] racist policy of dividing our young by race. We should lock up DAP. They are racist and dividing our nation.” What? We have not heard any major news item that remotely matches your wild accusations, without foundation […]

      Ell: “I had gone [over] one by one which one of Bersih’s arguments is reasonable and which is not under the present law”. What? I have gone through one by one of Bersih’s arguments and their arguments hold ground and quite in line [with] accountable standards except to the biased EC and the likes of you. For example, the demand to clean [up] the registration. Is it a difficult thing to do? This call was done a very long time ago. No real attempts were made to do so despite many dubious cases, including illegals’ rights to vote – Project IC.

      Ell: “Our main problem is that all our political parties practice undemocratic practices including PR.” Agree with some PR undemocractic practices, if you want to split hairs, but Umno is the king of undemocratic process by far. Example, media as party mouthpieces, 10 minutes only to opposition, harass PR ceramahs/voices, cash handouts in GE seen by many as bribes, etc.

    • Better My says:

      Ell: “Most apply different benchmarks depending who their support. Some international acceptable economic benchmarks, for example, poverty stats, are used or not used depending on whether you support the person or not. Similarly with many other benchmarks like growth, GDP, inflation, healthcare or in other words quality of life benchmark”. All these are all mostly funded by record national deficits, from 540 billion and climbing, more likely much higher when the truth is revealed. Example: with deficit funding, you won’t have growth, GDP, healthcare that match standards and you would have much worse poverty stats, much worse life benchmark, plus more, such as civil servants jobs, engineering work. And all this is made a lot worse from unaccountable big money earner Petronas which should have helped set up a large Malaysian sovereign fund by now for the government to be of use in times of crisis, where many developed nations have, but not in Malaysia. Malaysians are very exposed to the state of bankruptcy or world turning for the worst economic scenarios. Should it come, these benchmarks will surely go off the charts. There will be untold damages to the rakyat and country. An accountable good governance PR is likely to reverse the worst encounter, or at least lessen the impact in the worst case situation.

    • Wave33 says:


      I am asking you why [is Umno refusing to act against those who are corrupt and racists]? After heavenly words of praising, you just cannot give a convincing explanation. […]

      Like I have to reply on PR’s status quo before you can answer on the crimes BN committed. Please take the liberty to answer on all BN crimes before JUSTIFYING and blaming the whole world of doing the same. Hence, it is okay for BN to do so.

      Nail DAP, if you claim they did wrong. Where is your police report? Please upload for us to see?


  6. ellese says:

    Dear JW,

    You must make comparisons with parity. If you compare state finances, the published report of 2011 clearly said Taib is much better than LGE and Khalid in managing the state’s financial position. It’s not my word. This deduction was derived by the AG. Go read the report.

    On vernacular schools, any system which denies my children to befriend other races must be racist including all those support it. My children are denied of non-Malay friends like I had. It’s a fact. And so are so many out there. There’s no two ways about this. It’s downright racist.

    • Wave33 says:


      The topic of this post is….

      “BN vs PR election forecasts”

      Please has the courtesy and DISCIPLINE to discuss on the topic only. Your co-operation is highly appreciated.


    • JW Tan says:

      What document are you referring to? The state financial report? No it doesn’t say what you said, sorry. What it says is that Taib’s government had operating surpluses, which is different from actual surpluses. It’s true that Khalid’s government had an operating deficit in 2009, but this was caused by having to rescue several of Taib’s government’s failed ventures. Since then operating surpluses (as well as actual surpluses) have been growing.

      I don’t get why the school system prevents your children from befriending children of other races. If it’s so important to you, send them to a vernacular school. Or move to an area where there are more kids from other ethnicities. Besides, let me remind you than BN supports the vernacular school system as strongly, or perhaps even more strongly, than PR.

  7. ellese says:

    Better my,

    You obviously have no clue of PR’s budget. The PR budget has taken account of all so-called corruption ‘savings’ and despite that they had to do a deficit budget. There’s no such thing as a bad or good deficit budget. Both are similar with billion-dollar handouts increasing our debts. PR couldn’t offer a solution and that’s why it’s budget is a deficit. For your layman understanding, deficit occurs when expenses exceed the income. PR has already cracked their heads on finding further income but couldn’t. Sebab tu deficit.

    On Bersih, we can debate. For your information there are some things Ambiga herself couldn’t defend. Please look at the debate [she had] with KJ.

    PR has always had conflicting positions with each other. One component says non-Muslims cannot use ‘Allah’. The other says they can. One fights for Hudud but the other is against Hudud. One is for a liberal position, the other for restrictive social conduct (no concert, no same sex shops, no uncovered female billboards, etc etc). All of them are compromising coz of their hatred of BN. Once BN is no more, can’t imagine the permutations.

    On our deficit which they say will affect growth and bankrupt our nation, it is a lie. Our debt is still conservative by any means. The EU Maastricth treaty set debt to GDP ratio of 60% as prudent. Most ratios of developed countries like UK, Germany, France and the US are all above 70%. Singapore’s is at 100% and Japan’s at 200%. Malaysia is less than 55%. It’s still prudent. Even PR knows this and that’s why they have for past few years imposed a further increase in debt.

    We cannot go bankrupt like Greece based on the current status. PR is lying on this. Most of our debts are local debts. A very small portion are foreign debts. Very unlike Greece. You cant go bankrupt with local debt. Governments unlike individuals can print money to pay (though this would increase inflation).

    All our debts must be used for development. It has to follow items in the development funds Act. These are tabled in parliament and accounted for. Moneys used for development creates income and is repayable. So it’s a non-issue on payment.

    Finally, there’s also further lies by PR that our debt doesn’t include those guaranteed which we don’t know. Any guarantee must be tabled at parliament otherwise it’s not effective. All issuance of papers or loans requiring guarantee by govt have done this. The lawyers will ensure this. Otherwise it is at risk and no investors will invest.

    So please stop this PR propaganda. Don’t spread falsehood.

    • JW Tan says:

      Oh please. Yes, Malaysia’s debt to GDP ratio is under 55%, but if you prudently calculate this (by including debt from all GLCs) it is much higher. Singapore’s debt to GDP ratio is not 100% by the way.

      No, we are not Greece (who, by the way, mostly borrowed in Euros, which, guess what, is their own currency). But we are similar in one aspect – we have a very small tax base. Around 1m taxpayers in Malaysia support 29m Malaysians. For that reason, economic growth does not feed through to the government’s coffers as easily as the developed countries you named. Therefore we need much, much more growth to sustain a similar debt to GDP ratio.

    • JW Tan says:

      One further point – on your comment regarding loan documentation, guarantees embedded in loan documentation come in 2 forms, implicit and explicit. Lots of lawyers make lots of money arguing that implicit guarantees exist (or don’t exist). Also, the government may choose to bail out a company which does not have a guarantee – like the Renong bailout in 1998 (RM2bil, more or less). Lastly, as the Greek government bond restructuring shows, loan documentation can indeed be retrospectively altered (by the government, no less). Pakatan’s concerns are not lies. They are real.

  8. Oversea Voter says:

    I will be voting tomorrow as an overseas postal voter. My vote will go to BN. I am sick of all the PR lies! Undilah Barisan Nasional!

    • Wave33 says:

      Good for you. Lying is a bigger crime than corruption and murder.

      • Overseas Voter says:

        Thanks Wave33. I have done it. P. 120 Bukit Bintang: Frankie, BN +1, PR 0. I agree with your remark – the thing about liars is that you can’t believe it when they accuse others of murder and corruption. Yet when the tables are turned against them, they say you ulang I saman u pulak or that one I will sue – I got my lawyer here.

        • Reichen says:

          Too bad your songmaster lost, and by such a huge margin too… I hope he hasn’t spent much on that music video of his and I’d like to suggest to fire whomever came up with that idea.

  9. dr hamid ibrahim says:

    I am confident that PAKATAN can make it.
    But they must carry out [what they have] outlined in their
    Manifesto as well other important issues:

    1) Arrest all tainted persons, e.g.
    Mahathir, Samy, Taib and about
    300 or so corporate crooks.

    2) On the issue of 1400 Indians have died under police
    custody, charge those concerned
    and give compensation to the affected [families].

    3) Provide employment to the unemployed,
    otherwise, they become criminals, i.e.
    the government would have been responsible for creating criminals.


    • Adam says:

      Yes Dr,

      I too pray the same prayer. A change of government is good for Malaysia. Every citizen has a place under the Malaysian sun. Needs-based policies must be instituted. It is acceptable if the poor Bumiputras be given more preference.

      Now, Bumiputras especially the young generation, are not stupid anymore. They know that, although they have been given some assistance, much more has been taken through corruption and shady deals by those in power. The Rakyat have woken up, hopefully not too late to save our beloved Malaysia.

      It is time to vote wisely.

  10. Bhadra says:

    I think BN will win this time, though with a reduced majority. But have faith-the current 17-20 year olds are very politically aware and a majority of them support PR. even if BN wrestle their way out of this one, they cannot hide forever.

  11. ellese says:

    Please read the same report. The AG report. It clearly says Sarawak is better than Selangor and Penang. Don’t twist and turn.

    On school, why should I send to the limited place of vernacular schools? It’s the fault of the vernacular school system and I’m entitled to condemn as I see it. […] You already agree to disagree. So now what? You want to debate again […]?

    • JW Tan says:

      The Attorney General’s report is not a comprehensive economic analysis of the relative positions of the states. In fact, if it says what you think it says, then it is wrong. You need to actually dig into the individual state budget and financial reports. I did this because I couldn’t believe the turnaround, especially for Selangor. But it’s real, as far as I can tell.

      I didn’t agree to disagree on vernacular schools. In fact, as far as I can tell, you agreed with me.

    • Wave33 says:

      Sudah lah…Ellese.

      When you want to post about vernacular schools in your blog?

    • JW Tan says:

      Hah. Just for fun, I had a look to compare the Penang and Sarawak AG reports. It’s true that the 2011 Sarawak surplus is RM2.6bn, which is 18% up on the previous year. Nice performance, except that it’s driven by oil royalties partly paid in advance. Which means 2012 surplus is likely to drop. You can see this trend over the past years – Sarawak doesn’t collect its timber and oil royalties on a calendar year basis, so its surplus is lumpy. Check the cash position – whoops, down 68%. Someone raided the bank account for something, the surplus seems to have disappeared.

      Then checking on Penang, surplus was up a whopping 312%. Why? Because there was a loan write off. So that’s not really real. But if you have a look at the cash position, it’s up 120%. So all that financial engineering results in real money appearing. At least it’s not designed to hide losses.

      Anyway, as I said, this is purely an analysis of state finances. It ignores relative growth rates, borrowing rates, etc, which is required to draw a picture of relative economic positions. But Penang’s government certainly did better than Sarawak’s government in 2011.

  12. ellese says:

    On guarantee,s please read the law lah. It’s clear. Go google it. Ignorance of the law is not a defence.

    • JW Tan says:

      Since when was the law immutable and unchangeable? Multiple examples, from Argentina to Greece to Cyprus, show that the strength of legislation around government loan and bond guarantees is highly dependent on an individual government’s reputation. Malaysia’s credit rating in ringgit is only A-, not AAA. I wouldn’t place great faith in its institutions to protect its bondholders.

      As a further example, consider the fact that DRB-Hicom has a credit rating only slightly below that of the Malaysian government. The market considers DRB-Hicom to enjoy an implicit government guarantee, regardless of what the loan documentation says. I consider reality a better guide to the future than the law.

  13. roza says:

    It actually has passed and the government has clearly been given the mandate by the people. There is nothing to quarrel about and we can keep supporting our government to achieve our Vision 2020.

    • Adam says:


      I beg your pardon. Yes, the GE is over but BN has not been given a clear mandate with less than 50% of the popular votes. The gerrymandering by the obscene malapportionment alone should be a cause of great concern. We have to correct the delineation of constituencies now, well before the next election so that every voter’s right is more or less represented.

      And with so many racial and religious issues being politically churned up, Vision 2020 is but a dream and will remain just like 1Malaysia, a slogan.

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