KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Politicians, including those from Umno, were being self-centred by trying to pressure the government into an early general election amid spiralling prices in the country, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
The Umno leader told Malaysiakini he backed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said the current economic conditions in Malaysia meant it was a poor time to hold a general election.
‘I agree with the prime minister. Our main interest now is the plight of the rakyat, and we all know there is inflation now, so we have to put the rakyat first.
‘We need to find ways to overcome inflation and make sure the rakyat have money to put bread on their tables.
‘That is more important than to be selfish politically, thinking this is the right time to have an election,’ he was quoted as saying.
Nazri then suggested that the next general election not be held until the expiry of the current parliamentary term in September 2023.
The Padang Renggas MP went on to question why Umno MPs were trying to apply pressure on Ismail Sabri to dissolve Parliament ahead of schedule, noting that the latter now enjoyed bipartisan support.
After he took over as prime minister, Ismail Sabri’s administration signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability with Pakatan Harapan that pledged to avoid triggering a general election prematurely.
However, this has not stopped senior Umno leaders including party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his predecessor, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in continuing to press for early polls.
Yesterday, Zahid again said he would discuss the possibility of calling an early general election with Ismail Sabri, who is a vice-president in Umno.
Besides that, Najib said during the Barisan Nasional 48th anniversary convention yesterday that inflation and personal interests should not be a reason to delay calling for a general election, in thinly-veiled remarks aimed at Ismail Sabri.