In the Chinese press: Will Parliament be dissolved tomorrow?

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IS Parliament going to be dissolved tomorrow? This is a question put forth by China Press in its exclusive report today. According to the report, quoting sources, rumours are spreading on the ground that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may confound poll watchers by calling for the dissolution of parliament tomorrow.

China Press quoted a source as saying, a clear indicator would be if the Conference of Rulers, which is scheduled for Thursday, and the dinner held conventionally the day before are cancelled.

According to the source, it is a protocol that Chief Ministers and Menteris Besar have to attend Conference of Rulers and the dinner. Therefore, if the parliament is dissolved tomorrow, there is no need for Conference of Rulers to meet on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the Chinese newspaper also quoted another source who is apparently close to the prime minister as saying that it is unlikely for Najib to call for polls in February. Instead, he may wait until after the second week of March to dissolve parliament, which would put elections sometime in April

PR manifesto grabs headlines

Meanwhile, Pakatan Rakyat's launching of 13th General Election manifesto made it to the headlines of Sin Chew Daily and Oriental Daily.

Sin Chew highlighted that if PR wins the election it will recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (Combined Chinese Schools). It reported that PR has promised to recognise the exam and all certificate holders can be enrolled in higher education institutions. Those with UEC certs can also apply to work in the government service.

Government recognition of the UEC is one of the standing demands of the Dong Zong or the United Schools Committees Association of Malaysia. The UEC is recognised as an entrance qualification by many tertiary educational institutions in the United Kingdom, United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and others including most local private colleges.  

Sin Chew also gave a full page coverage to the content of the manifesto which promises to give free education, lower fuel, water and electricity price, implement RM1,100 minimum wage, etc. but questioned where the money for all this populist measures would come from in its column called "500 words commentary".

Oriental Daily News, which also covered the launch of the manifesto, carried PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's promise that the coalition would not seek revenge and go on a witch hunt after BN if it won the election.

According to its report, Anwar emphasised that the purpose of PR winning the election is not to seek revenge but to implement the people's agenda. "We must learn from Bangladesh, if we put the government leaders into jail once they become opposition, the country will not be in peace," he was quoted as saying.

Yen Yen left red faced

Besides highlighting the launching of Pakatan Rakyat's manifesto, the local Chinese newspapers also allocated significant space to report on the embarrassment faced by Minister of Tourism Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen during a Chap Goh Mei celebration in Jonker Street, Malacca, on Sunday.

During the celebrations, Ng took to the stage to boast about BN's performance. She said an even larger Chap Goh Mei celebration would be held if the coalition was returned to power, and asked the crowd to say "Yes, yes, yes" but got a "No, no, no" response from the audience.

According to China Press, Ng continued to speak after getting the negative response, saying "You have to wake up. The facts are in front of you. You have to say 'Yes! Yes! Yes!'" But the crowed still shouted "No, no, no" in return.

The crowd's response has given hope to DAP which is now aiming to win more state and parliamentary seats in the next GE. In the last election, DAP won 1 parliamentary seat and five state seats. Malacca has five parliamentary seats 28 state seats in all.

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