PUTRAJAYA: The guessing game is finally over after months of intense speculation with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announcing to the nation that Parliament is dissolved to pave the way for the 13th general election.
The much-awaited announcement was made at 11.32am yesterday at Bangunan Perdana Putra and carried “live” by television stations.
Najib had earlier sought an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah for his consent to dissolve Parliament.
Prior to the announcement, the Prime Minister's Office, for the first time, used Twitter to alert netizens of the scheduled “live” broadcast of Najib's announcement.
Clad in a dark-coloured suit and red tie, Najib, who was flanked by his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and in the presence of his Cabinet ministers, called for all parties concerned to ensure peaceful and smooth elections in the interest of the nation.
He gave his commitment to respect and preserve the democratic process and the decision made by the people and urged the Opposition to also be committed to this.
Najib guaranteed that any transition of power would be conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner, adding that this was in line with the democratic principles, the politics of transformation and national interest.
He said political parties involved must be responsible, adding that they should not “sow the poisonous seeds of suspicion” and destroy the trust and integrity of the election process just because they were not confident of the rakyat's support.
“Let it be a lesson for us to learn from what happened in countries that had attempted to use this tactic,” he said.
“The end result is there was no confidence in the outcome of the elections and the elected governments, including parties which used this tactic, were rejected by the people. In the end, there will be instability, loss of investors' confidence and national image will be destroyed and the people will suffer.”
He added that elections in Malaysia had been carried out in a responsible, fair and transparent manner.
Najib, who took office as Prime Minister four years ago, yesterday said he and his Cabinet had implemented changes and reforms based on the 1Malaysia People First, Performance Now concept.
The people, he said, could see and experience changes carried out under the national transformation programmes, which had improved their lives and prospered the country, stressing that the government of today was responsible and placed the people's interests above everything else.
Najib reminded the people that this elections was not just about choosing their representatives but also electing a government that could fulfil their aspirations and hopes for the future of their children and the country. As such, he said, they must not forgo their right to vote and to do it wisely.
He also assured voters in the east coast of Sabah that the security forces were there to maintain their safety and urged them to come out to exercise their right to vote.
At the end of his 12-minute speech, the Prime Minister said he was humbled and honoured to have served the people and thanked Malaysians for the trust given to the Barisan Nasional government to lead them over the past five years.
Earlier, Najib said he had advised state government leaders to seek audience with their heads of state to obtain consent for the dissolution of their respective state legislative assemblies to allow the general election to be held simultaneously nationwide.
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