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7:14pm 18/04/2022
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Election is nigh: Umno sends out a signal
By:Sin Chew Daily

But before this is done, parties on both sides of the divide must strive to hasten the adoption of the anti-hopping bill to avert a repeat of what took place two years ago, especially when the ruling and opposition alliances are of equitable strengths in the legislature.

The Umno supreme council has decided that there will be no new memorandum of understanding after the one signed between the federal government and Pakatan Harapan expires on July 31.

In an unprecedented move, the government and PH signed an MoU on transformation and political stability last September in a bid to stabilize the country’s political situation, tackle the then deteriorating Covid-19 pandemic, and propel transformation.

The MoU states very clearly that the next general election will not be held before July 31 this year.

With Umno now determined not to ink a follow-up MoU after this July, it simply means GE15 will very likely be held soon after this.

The main objective of Umno’s move is to push for a general election as early as possible in order to retake the federal administration.

Although Umno’s vice president Ismail Sabri Yaakob is now the prime minister, the party does not have absolute control over the government, which is only a joint government with substantial say from Perikatan Nasional.

Additionally, the ruling faction within Umno has always wanted to consolidate its grip to power through an election.

Meanwhile, PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin says he will seek clarification from PM Ismail on Umno’s decision of not signing an MoU 2.0 with PH. But as Ismail, being from Umno, is very much bound by the party’s resolutions, he may be powerless to veto that decision if his party has resolved not to go ahead with another MoU.

Umno’s move has sent out a distinct and unambiguous signal that the election is just around the corner!

Despite divergent views within the political circle whether an election should be held soon, the business sector generally believes a stable government created through an election will help spearhead the country’s economic recovery.

Different components within the federal government have their own varying plans. While BN and PN were on opposite ends in earlier state elections, they have maintained their collaboration at the federal level, albeit with some degree of reluctance.

To be honest, this coalition is not rock solid, and it is a matter of time Umno and Bersatu will turn against each other. Such political uncertainty does not augur well for investment sentiment and has in fact held back the pace of our economic recovery. Conversely, a stable political climate will most definitely spawn a conducive environment to boost business development.

The election is getting nearer and nearer and all parties must start preparing for a fiercely intense election war ahead. But before this is done, parties on both sides of the divide must strive to hasten the adoption of the anti-hopping bill to avert a repeat of what took place two years ago, especially when the ruling and opposition alliances are of equitable strengths in the legislature.

From what we know, the Umno supreme council has also resolved to continue to push through the anti-hopping bill while the other parties are equally determined to get the bill passed.

Where this is concerned, indeed the big direction is straightforward, that all parties have wanted to see the bill enacted into law, although they disagree on how “party-hopping” should be defined.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed a consensus could be reached very soon in this respect, so that the bill could be adopted before the election.

Another thing that also deserves our concern is that the menace from the coronavirus is still very much evident even as we have transitioned to the endemic phase of Covid-19, where our old ways of living are gradually restored.

Now the question: is the safety of our voters assured if an election is called just a few months down the road? Will the situation deteriorate later? Perhaps the election commission should have a set of plans in place to tackle any unexpected development so that we can vote with peace of mind.

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