Malaysia – Umno leaders seeking for an early 15th general election have been challenged by Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz to request this from the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
According to Sinar Harian, the former minister claimed that instead of pressing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the unidentified Umno leaders should do it.
Nazri was reported as saying that the Agong is in charge of determining the date of the 15th general election.
“In my opinion, if you truly want the election immediately, go to the Agong and ask for it (by yourself). If you’re courageous enough, tell the prime minister about the result afterwards.”
Those attempting to push a hasty election now are doing it for personal gain, according to Nazri, who also described open debates regarding the timing of the next general election as disrespectful to the Agong’s authority.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia last week, Ismail Sabri argued that holding a general election now would be a bad idea, noting the country’s spiraling inflation and cost of living crisis.
Following strong pressure from Umno leaders at the Barisan Nasional’s 48th anniversary convention last week, the Prime Minister committed to call a general election as soon as the coalition was ready.
Nazri has already criticized the Umno leaders who are hounding Ismail of being self-serving and irresponsible, and he reiterated this in his recent statements when he said that the expense of having elections will impair the government’s capacity to deal with the economic situation.
“Where can we get such much money when the cost of GE15 is projected to be RM1 billion if it is held now?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, after wrapping up internal discussions at a retreat in Janda Baik, Pahang last weekend, Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan told Sinar Harian that his party was completely prepared for GE15.
“Our (election) machinery is ready to confront the approaching elections after we executed numerous courses across different bureaus and factions,” Shahril remarked.
According to him, around 200 Umno information bureaus from throughout the nation attended the event hosted at the Institute of Strengthening Community Ties (ILMU) in Pahang.
A general election would not be required until June 2023, when the 14th Parliament’s five-year tenure would come to an end automatically.