'Fresh mandate' rationale behind Johor Snap Polls

23 Jan 2022 08:22am
Hasni and Umno leaders during a press conference confirming the dissolution of the Johor State Assembly.
Hasni and Umno leaders during a press conference confirming the dissolution of the Johor State Assembly.

SHAH ALAM - The dissolution of the Johor State Assembly today (Jan 22) was to enable the government a fresh and strong mandate to intensify development in the state.

Johor caretaker menteri besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said he needed a “fresh mandate” as the Umno-led government had “inherited” the previous administration and operated out of the “courtesy” of the opposition especially when making decisions.

Relying on the courtesy and compassion of the opposition, he said, was not something that should be happening in Johor thus why they were holding the elections.

"I need to get a “fresh mandate”.

“I need to regain the mandate of the people of Johor for a more developed and successful Johor," he said at a press conference at the Johor UMNO Office, at Jalan Yahya Awal here on Saturday.

Hasni was earlier received before the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar to obtain the consent of the dissolution of the State Assembly at Istana Bukit Serene. Johor Bahru at 5pm.

The Benut Assemblyman said the Election Commission (EC) will determine the date of the state elections in the near future.

He added that State Assembly Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat will inform the dissolution of the State Assembly to the EC.

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“The decision to hold the state elections was made after we received the mandate from the Supreme Council and Umno president.

"Besides that, the Sultan of Johor consented to the state elections. Umno Johor also agreed to this.

“The state election held will not interfere with the state government, administration,” he said.

Hasni also said although there was a nationwide ceasefire between the Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition and the current government, he could not simply rely on the deal.

He cited an incident in the state assembly recently when how the opposition's agreement on the ceasefire could be nothing more than false promises.

During a recent assembly, he said they were faced with a discussion to allow opposition representatives to be part of district action committees.

He said he tried explaining to them multiple times that this was not the decision of the state government.

“We were given instructions from the number one in the Prime Minister’s Office (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob) that disallows this. However, they continued pressing the matter and it ended in a deadlock – 27-all.

“The speaker, who was supposed to be neutral, was forced to act on goodwill and cast the tie-breaker in favour of the government,” said Hasni.

Hasni explained that the decision to hold the state elections was also because the Umno-led government only had a simple majority of 29 seats.

He highlighted that with a one-seat majority, it was unquestionable that the state administration was in an unstable position.

"After the death of Kempas State Assemblyman (ADUN), Datuk Osman Sapian, last month, I have considered holding the Kempas by-election.

"However, due to the inappropriate timing, especially with the floods that hit recently, the by-election was not held. “We managed to avoid a difficult situation.

“Once the floods have settled and that we are now in post-flood recovery; Covid-19 is manageable and that we are able to see our economy progressing as the Vaccinate Travel Lane,” he said.

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