KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz has dared Umno leaders pushing for an early 15th general election to seek this from the Yang diPertuan Agong.
According to Sinar Harian, the former minister said the unnamed Umno leaders should do so instead of pressuring Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“The determination of the date of the 15th general election is in the hands of the Agong,” Nazri was quoted as saying.
“My opinion is simple: if you really want the election now, just go and ask for it from the Agong (by yourself). And inform the prime minister about the outcome later, if you are brave enough.”
Saying those trying to force a snap poll now were doing so out of personal interests, Nazri called open discussions about the date of the next general election an act of disrespect towards the Agong’s authority.
Ismail Sabri said in an interview with Nikkei Asia last week that it was poor timing to hold a general election now, citing the country’s spiralling inflation and cost of living crisis.
However, after Umno leaders openly applied pressure on him during the Barisan Nasional 48th anniversary convention last week, the PM vowed to call for a general election as soon as the coalition was ready to face one.
Nazri previously accused the Umno leaders hounding Ismail of being self-serving and irresponsibly, and repeated this in his latest remarks when noting that the cost of holding elections would hurt the government’s ability to tackle the economic crisis.
“With the cost of GE15 expected to be RM1 billion if it’s held now, where can we find so much money?” he asked.
Separately, Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan told Sinar Harian his party was fully prepared for GE15 after concluding internal meetings at a retreat in Janda Baik, Pahang over last weekend.
“Our (election) machinery is ready after we implemented various courses across different bureaus and factions to face the upcoming elections,” said Shahril.
According to him, the gathering held at Institute of Strengthening Community Ties (ILMU) at Pahang involved over 200 Umno information bureaus from all over the country.
A general election need not be called until June 2023, when the 14th Parliament would be automatically dissolved after the expiry of its five-year term.