Politics last week

Al-Sultan Abdullah had no choice but to grant the PM’s request to restore the people’s mandate and elect a stable govt


SINCE the announcement of the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10, 2022, by Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to make way for the 15th General Election (GE15), Malaysians from various backgrounds and political preferences have been glued to their screens to keep up with the moves of politicians from both divides.

The announcement of the dissolution was made by Ismail Sabri after having received the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who expressed his disappointment with the current political situation.

According to the comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Seri Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, Al-Sultan Abdullah had no choice but to grant the PM’s request to restore the people’s mandate and elect a stable government.

The King also asserted that a strong country is important to guarantee political stability and continued economic prosperity for the wellbeing of the people.

When the announcement was made, Ismail Sabri suggested that the heads of state governments except for Sabah, Sarawak, Melaka and Johor take appropriate action to dissolve their respective Legislative Assemblies (DUN) on the same date.

“Although some states decided not to dissolve their respective state assemblies, it needs to be implemented simultaneously to ensure that the people are not burdened, in addition to the smoothness of the democratic process and to save cost,” he said in his announcement.

On Oct 11, the Opposition parties expressed their readiness to take on GE and to mobilise their party machinery immediately.

However, at the same time, they expressed concern about holding the election amid the monsoon season and potential flood disasters that are expected to occur.

Meanwhile, Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that his party had decided to contest in 120 parliamentary seats to improve its chances of forming the majority, including seats in Sabah.

At the same time, he said, GTA is also considering political cooperation with other parties that shared its principles, vision and mission, among which is to fight Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) information chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said PN is prepared and the party is not afraid of Umno’s stubbornness and arrogance.

He claimed that Umno has failed to grasp the sentiments of the people amid the economic recovery process and expectation of inclement weather.

However, he said despite the harsh weather conditions, PN will take part in GE15 with determination to continue the agenda of prioritising the people’s welfare and protecting the dignity of the country.

Mohamed Azmin also stressed that the real cause of political instability and disharmony was the insistence of Umno’s Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and because of the power struggle between the kleptocrats and Ismail Sabri.

On Oct 12, Pakatan Harapan (PH) communication director Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil said that in 48 hours, the presidential council will announce its decision on whether to dissolve the states of Penang, Negri Sembilan and Selangor, as it discussed the matter.

Ahmad Fahmi said they have discussed the matter and some specifics are being reviewed by the PH leadership, as there have been requests from Penang to review the previous decision to dissolve.

The communication director also revealed that PH covered several areas during the meeting, not only on Penang’s request but also its GE15 strateg y and manifesto; what kind of cooperation the coalition will be having with the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) as well as the upcoming PH convention.

On Oct 13, PAS made a move to strengthen its cooperation with PN on the principle of uniting the ummah.

President Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang claimed that BN’s negligence in implementing the Islamic struggle when governing the country was the reason that PAS had to postpone its cooperation for the upcoming GE15.

He said there was still “cloudiness” plaguing BN, especially on the ongoing issues of corruption among its members.

Currently, the top Umno men with ongoing court cases are president Ahmad Zahid, former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, secretary general Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and treasurer general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

“We want to champion Islamic values in Terengganu and Kelantan. Moreover, BN’s decision to hold GE15 while most states are making preparations to deal with floods reflects its indolence to gain power,” he said.

On Oct 14, Ismail Sabri said GE15 will still proceed even if several states refuse to dissolve their respective state legislative assemblies because every state has the right to dissolve its state assembly at any time.

“I strongly suggest and highly recommend that the dissolution of state assembly and Parliament be made simultaneously, but six states have made their decision not to follow suit. So, GE15 will still proceed as it should,” he said.

At press time, the state assemblies that have been dissolved are only Pahang and Perlis while Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Johor, Negri Sembilan and Melaka are firm with their decision not to dissolve their state assemblies, while Penang and Perak will announce their decisions soon.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition

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