Feb 19, 2007

No elections anytime soon, says Khairy

(NST) The government is unlikely to call for a general election anytime soon, said Deputy Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said various factors had to be taken into account, not just the current strong economic situation.

"Other factors such as politics, the country’s development and issues outside the party have also to be considered," Khairy said yesterday after flagging off the Taman Rembau Utama National Park Expedition convoy.

"Certain parties may think that the time is now right for a general election because of the current economic situation.

"However, others may think why call for an election when Barisan Nasional is only into its third year of its five-year term."

Malaysian Institute of Economic Research director Prof Emeritus Dr Mohamed Ariff Abdul Karim had recently said that the time was suitable in view of the strong and stable economic situation with all domestic economic fundamentals pointing towards recovery.

Khairy, the Rembau Umno Youth chief, said another factor that should be taken into account was the smooth implementation of projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

"The projects were only just announced and the effects have yet to be felt at the grassroots level. The government must fulfil its promises made during the last election. I think the government should be given time to fulfil the promises."

Khairy said Umno Youth was ready to face a general election and was focusing on efforts to get members to register as voters.

He urged Umno members to take seriously party deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reminder that Umno leaders and members must always be close to the people and to set aside internal differences in preparation of a general election.

"We need to enhance solidarity in the party and reduce problems, not just within Umno but also within BN," said Khairy.

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