PETALING JAYA: The 15th general election is definitely coming very soon, and local analysts feel that if the government wants an election when Malaysians are in a “feel good” mood, it is best held next year, although they believe the election could be held as early as November 19 or 26.
Both political commentator cum International Islamic University law professor Dr. Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod and local analyst Lam Choong Wah believe the general election will very likely be held this year before the rainy season, either in November or before mid-December, although majority of Malaysians think that election should be best held next year.
Another political analyst Associate Prof. Dr. Jeniri Amir said he strongly believed GE15 would be held this November, most probably on a Saturday, either November 19 or 26.
He said there must be some powerful reasons to bring forward the tabling of the 2023 Budget.
“They want to avoid the monsoon season and hold the election before the floods.”
He also believed prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is also Umno’s vice president, will conform to the party’s decision.
As such, he said the prime minister would very likely announce to dissolve the parliament after the 2023 Budget is tabled.
“There’s a lot of significance for Ismail as prime minister to table next year’s Budget.
“If they win the mandate of rakyat in the election, they will be able to quickly implement all the measures set out in the Budget.
“I have a strong feeling the election will be held within this year.”
Jeniri also said the election could not be deferred until next year, as inflation would get worse.
IIU’s Professor Dr. Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod told Sin Chew Daily the election is best held next year because the best time is “when people don’t feel too happy nor too sad.”
He also said the government would generally try to create a “feel good” atmosphere before the election comes.
“The economy now is still in the recovery phase. Living cost has surged dramatically and the fuel and diesel prices are not making people any happier either.
“If the election is held this year, people may not come out and vote because they are not happy with the country’s situation now. People are more concerned about how to survive.”
He said the prime minister does not have to wait until the expiry of the current parliament, as election can be held after Hari Raya next March.
“From my observation, the prime minister has repeatedly stated that there’s no rush to hold the election immediately. That’s why I think the election will be held only next year.
“However, there seems to be some changes of late. Everyone is saying the election will be held this year and the PM’s attitude could change because of the pressure from within Umno.”
If GE15 were to be held this year, Nik Ahmad Kamal said the most likely date would be in November or early December.
“Having the election during the floods will definitely anger the public.
“There’s still possibility of having the election next year.”
Meanwhile, analyst Lam Choong Wah said Malaysians generally prefer to have the election next year, from what he had observed, one of the reasons being the reform on political funding.
Political funding has been the root of the country’s political turmoil in recent years.
“The election will not be threatened by the floods if held next year. Moreover, the Budget will also have been passed in parliament by then.”
Lam said, to the prime minister, having the election next year would still be the best option.
“I think the probability of an election next year is bigger for two reasons.
“Firstly, there’s not much time left this year and the choice is limited.
“Secondly, election is always used to serve the PM’s needs and to consolidate his position. To Ismail, he is now vying for the controlling power in Umno with party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.”
And Lam believed Ahmad Zahid would eventually be convicted.
If the election were to be held this year, he believed it should be from mid-November to mid-December, i.e. after the Budget is tabled and before the floods come.
“The best option is still next year!”
Lam did not think the prime minister would announce the dissolution of parliament immediately after tabling the 2023 Budget, as the Budget has yet to be adopted in parliament, meaning it is technically non-effective.