Malyasian elections to be held by early March: Minister

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Singapore, Jan 10 (UNI) General elections in Malaysia will be held by early March, a leading daily today quoted a senior Minister as saying.

''The elections will be held soon enough, latest by the first week of March. Everybody is ready. If we wait any longer, fatigue will set in,'' The Star quoted a senior minister as saying.

''All Barisan Nasional component parties had completed their 'dry runs for Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah, Selangor and Johor,'' he said adding the other states were expected to complete theirs by this weekend.

Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said the party's election preparation was now on overdrive.

''We have always been in gear, now we have gone into overdrive.

I have been around the country briefing our election workers on various issues expected to be raised by the opposition. I am now into my second round of briefings,'' he said.

''We have not been told when the general election will be held, but we are prepared even if it is called tomorrow,'' he added.

A Barisan source said that indications of 12th general election surfaced as early as last month when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi completed his first round of state visits.

Mr Abdullah and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were expected to step up their next round of state visits as they hit the campaign trail again.

Analysts added that another indication of the looming elections was that Abdullah not planning any overseas trip for February and March.

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