KUALA LUMPUR: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is part of the respected London-based magazine The Economist, predicts that Barisan Nasional (BN) will win the 13th general election based on its successful track record, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s reform agenda and his successful economic leadership.
For international observers, the outcome of the upcoming polls is already clear, that the Barisan will be victorious, it said.
It also said the opposition Pakatan Rakyat has been making “costly promises” to gain power, and these were a big stumbling block.
The EIU, a think-tank which offers regular country, industry and risk analysis, said that “it is clearly not feasible” for Pakatan to implement all of its campaign promises.
“For example, providing free secondary education would cost the Government RM43bil, while abolishing car duty would cut tax revenue by RM4.6bil a year,” it said.
The EIU pointed out that Pakatan had broken many of its earlier promises, including financial assistance for pre-school education, university students, senior citizens and the disabled, free healthcare for those over 65, lower property taxes and assistance for home buyers.
Pakatan’s populism has remained as just hot air.
In Selangor, for example, Barisan claimed that Pakatan has implemented only 15% of its 31 election pledges made in its 2008 general election manifesto.
“Selangor Mentri Besar (Tan Sri Abdul) Khalid Ibrahim commented that a manifesto is not a promise but conceded that voters may think otherwise,” the EIU noted.
“Compare this with BN’s successful track record in fulfilling its promises, and you have a clear difference in approach.
“Both will need to appeal to young, first-time voters, given that nearly three million people in this crucial voting block have been added to the electoral register since the last election,” it added.
The EIU claimed the “bulk of this group” was undecided about which party to vote for and could swing the outcome of the election. — Bernama