PM will announce GE15 when the time comes

Rozaid Rahman, Junhari Alyasa, Farah Shazwani, Nurul Huda Husain
21 Aug 2022 09:53am
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob during the interview
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob during the interview

PUTRAJAYA - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says it is “quite difficult” for him to determine the date of the 15th General Election (GE15) because there are many considerations that need to be take into account including stabilising the economy and people-centric issues.

Thus when the right time comes, he said, he will face the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to ask for approval of the dissolution of Parliament.

“To say the election will be this year, there are many issues and matters that needs to be resolved. If next year, we can’t wait until the world economic situation worsens. So, it was quite difficult to make the decision.

“To say it takes longer, my party (Umno) will get mad as they want it to be quick but I have mentioned several times that there are many significant considerations that needs to be made before we make a decision. Everyone can submit their views.

“But everyone understands. The Prime Minister has the prerogative power to face Yang di-Pertuan Agong to apply for dissolution approval Parliament.

“But Agong’s power is to allow or reject the dissolution application,” he said in a special interview in conjunction with his one year in office at Seri Perdana here recently.

The Bera MP said the main indication to determine his readiness to face Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to seek for the dissolution of Parliament was a stable economy and addressed the people’s issues.

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Apart from that, he said that he needed to consider whether the situation at that time would benefit Barisan Nasional (BN) to win the general election.

“If next year, the economy (expected) to be bad. Whether the state of the people at that time was bad or not, we don’t know. However, as long as the Russian and Ukraine conflict haven't been resolved, then the world won’t fully recover and we will be affected.

"If it was held (GE) at that time in an economic situation worsened, the incentives that could be given to the people would decrease thus the time is not suitable for us to do the election. That’s why we need to find the appropriate balance to hold an election.

“The littoral combat ship (LCS) just arise. We don’t know how it will affect the government in one or two months from now.

“That's a recent issue but it's possible reason for us to postpone the election in order to finish the case first,” said Ismail Sabri.

At the same time, he explained there was no issue of pressure from Top 5 Umno leaders who wanted to quicken the GE15 as all matters were discussed together privately.

The intended top 5 are the Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and three vice presidents namely Ismail Sabri himself and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

He added that his Cabinet colleagues understands on why UMNO-Barisan Nasional (BN) have decided to compete solo in GE15. "So far, (there are) no problems because all parties understand, party and Cabinet decisions are two different things.

“The Cabinet will continue to work together in government until GE15 but in terms of party, I can’t say more because I am number three, I have a boss. “So the direction of the party, you need to ask the Umno president," he said.