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4:54pm 15/03/2022
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GE15 just around the corner?
By:Sin Chew Daily

With Caerus now on his side, you can bet that Ahmad Zahid is not going to give it a miss.

Barisan Nasional won by a landslide in the recent Johor state election. Save for DAP’s 10-seat win and MUDA’s single seat in its maiden election, both PN and PH have been brutally beaten.

Bersatu somehow managed to pull over 190,000 votes, easily beating Amanah and PKR, showing that it has emerged as the Malay voters’ second choice.

Judging from the election outcome in Johor, DAP and Bersatu will still have sizeable support come the next general election, but the Anwar-led PKR is fast slipping into oblivion, probably the political life of its headstrong president too.

As for Tun Mahathir’s Pejuang, the deposits of all its 42 candidates have been forfeited, marking an official end to the feud between the aged former prime minister and the PH chairman, as both have become quite irrelevant now in Malaysian politics.

Now that it has won big in Johor, will BN ride on its tremendous electoral success to rush through the next general election?

PM Ismail Sabri has said he will only call an election when fully ready and will not do so just because one small group is shouting for elections to be held.

Sure enough this “small group” (a big group actually) includes Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who has said his party would not give PH a chance to come back and that BN must hold a GE immediately after the Johor win.

Whether a GE will be held very soon is actually a tug-of-war between Umno’s “court” and “minister” clusters. This is going to be the last battle for Najib and Ahmad Zahid and they will do their utmost to fight for dominance over the election date.

Ismail Sabri can be beaten out anytime, and the current prime minister may not be the next PM post-GE15.

Anyway, the internal conflicts within Umno are not expected to impact BN’s winning chances.

Firstly, Bossku was wildly popular wherever he went in the Johor election campaign, showing that Malaysians are indeed very forgetful.

Secondly, Malaysians have grown accustomed to political fights, and such things have become non-events to many.

Thirdly, political fights will not even be the consideration of the “court cluster”, as they have much bigger court cases awaiting them, and they must make sure they win this round of war.

DAP’s MP for Seremban Anthony Loke has mentioned in the Dewan Rakyat that the purpose of the proposed “bipartisan MoU for political cooperation 2.0” is to prevent the court cluster from pressurizing the PM to call an early election.

Even minister in the PM’s department Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has said in an interview that the MoU needs to be extended, while health minister Khairy Jamaluddin concurs that this is not the best time to dissolve the parliament for a snap election given the challenging pandemic at this moment.

Ahmad Zahid says PH wants to avoid a GE this year through the MoU 2.0 in order to buy time to fix its internal problems, vowing that Umno will not give PH a chance to stage a comeback.

The 3-day Umno general assembly will be held from March 16, and given the euphoria over the party’s massive win in Johor, there will be louder calls for s snap election to be held very soon. In the end, Ahmad Zahid and the supreme council “will be forced” to pressurize the prime minister to call for an early election.

Following the impressive gains in Johor polls, the “court cluster” led by Najib and Ahmad Zahid has good chances of beating the rival faction within the party in the infighting, and the duo will seize every opportunity to see to its success.

Ahmad Zahid has wanted to be PM after Muhyiddin stepped down from office, but luck was simply not on his side at that time as he did not have the support of majority Umno MPs. With Caerus now on his side, you can bet that he is not going to give it a miss this time round.

We should know very soon whether the parliament will be dissolved to pave way for fresh elections, although we can’t tell for sure whether the Johor outcome will be repeated in GE15.

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