Following Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s tabling of Budget 2013, analysts predicted that the 13th general election will be called after next February.
Independent pollster Ibrahim Suffian said the polls would likely take place after the Chinese New Year in February as the government would only start disbursing the goodies in January.
Referring to the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) 2.0 scheme, he said it would take time for the government to disburse the cash to some 4.7 million eligible households and to some three million eligible singles.
He described the handouts as “very comprehensive” since the lower-income households with two children in school would be entitled to at least RM700 under BR1M and student voucher programmes.
However, Ibrahim doubted if the handouts could translate into ballots for the ruling party as many benefitting from the handouts might not be registered voters.
“There are those who are registered and those who are not registered. At the end of the day, it is not sure whether the RM250 recipients will go out to vote,” he said.
Ibrahim also said that the goodies would have minimal effect on urban voters.
‘Handouts may backfire’
Independent political analyst Wong Chin Huat also agreed with Ibrahim that the polls would be called after February.
He however warned that the handouts might backfire on BN, especially with voters who understand the current state of Malaysia’s economy.