Significant and influential, will Selangor lead the dissolution of state assemblies?

ILI LIYANA MOKHTAR
24 May 2023 11:25am
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari is set to seek an audience with the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj to request to dissolve the state legislative assembly next month. (Photo from Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor)
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari is set to seek an audience with the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj to request to dissolve the state legislative assembly next month. (Photo from Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor)
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THE political atmosphere here has been rife with rumours that the Selangor state legislative assembly is set to be dissolved soon, paving the way for state polls to happen earlier than expected.

However, Amanah director of Communications Wan Anwar Wan Ibrahim said it was highly unlikely for the state legislative assembly to be dissolved before its maturity date.

“The state legislative assembly is set to dissolve itself around June, after that it would be the EC’s prerogative to set the date and prepare for the state elections,” he told Sinar Daily.

He, however, agreed that once it dissolves, it will most likely create a ripple effect for other state assemblies that are also set to be dissolved between June and August.

“As Selangor is a significant and influential state, political developments here often have a bearing on the wider political landscape of Malaysia.

“The decisions and strategies adopted by political parties in Selangor may inspire or influence similar actions in other states.” he said,

Wan Anwar added that holding state elections simultaneously in multiple states could indeed save costs and time.

“It would streamline the electoral process and minimise disruptions to governance. However, the decision to hold simultaneous state elections ultimately rests with the relevant authorities, taking into account legal, logistical, and political considerations” he stressed.

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On whether he was being considered as a candidate for the upcoming state polls, Wan Anwar said he would leave it to the party leadership to decide.

“I believe party will make a full consideration based on unity government strategies, local dynamics, and the aspirations of the constituents,” he elaborated.

It also has been widely agreed by experts that once Selangor gets the ball rolling other states would follow suit.

Former Election Commission (EC) Deputy Chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had predicted earlier this week that state elections in six states namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan will be held simultaneously in early August.

"When the state assemblies dissolves by itself after its expiry or is dissolved, the Federal Constitution stipulates that the EC has a period of 60 days to prepare and hold an election to elect a new representative," he told Sinar on Thursday.

For the record, the Selangor state assembly will dissolve itself after June 25; followed by Kelantan (27 June), Terengganu (30 June 2023); Kedah (July 3), Negeri Sembilan (July 1) and finally, Penang (August 2).

Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari is set to seek an audience with the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj to request to dissolve the state legislative assembly next month.

The date for this has yet to be revealed.

Amirudin said that the Selangor Sultan will decide on the matter after he seeks an audience with the ruler.

“I will seek an audience before His Royal Highness departs to perform haj as the state assembly is set to dissolve on June 25 automatically.

“There is a process that we have to go through and we would have to wait for a suitable time to announce it as we are still in the month of May.

“Discussions have started but the decision is up to His Royal Highness,” he was reported as saying.

Political analyst Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian echoed Wan Ahmad’s views that all state assemblies would dissolve about the same time, although the Kedah state government might need to take the Hari Keputeraan Sultan Kedah (on June 18) into consideration.

"Most likely state elections will be held before mid August to focus on Merdeka celebrations," he told Sinar Daily.

He added that state polls should be held concurrently in order to save costs and time, and the popular choice has always been to hold them during school holidays.

On whether Perikatan Nasional brand of politics could capture the Malay majority constituencies in Selangor, Sivamurugan said it would be hard to predict as the state consists more of the middle and upper-class Malay groups.

"It would perhaps be easier in the Northern region but still, PN needs to capture the three important groups namely the protest voters, the new voters and the automatically registered voters.

"They also have to find ways to retain loyalists who voted for the party in the last elections,” he said.

He said even though PN had proven to be a threat to PH by winning six parliamentary seats in Selangor in the 15th General Elections, it was crucial to see whether their supporters were permanent ones or only temporary.

He added that it was also possible for first-time voters who backed PN in GE15 to change their minds after seeing the performance of the current Unity Government.

Sivamurugan said besides having to compete with the slew of people's initiatives by the Selangor state government, the biggest challenge for PN is to come out with a reputable candidate for Menteri Besar as an alternative to the current Amirudin.

On Feb 22, Amirudin had said that five Menteri Besar and a Chief Minister from six states reached a consensus to consider the dissolution of their respective state assemblies in the last two weeks of June 2023 to pave the way for their state elections.

Amirudin said the consensus would be further discussed within their respective parties before being presented for the consent of their respective rulers and governors.

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