THERE is no consensus even within UMNO that the GE15 should be called as early as possible.
Of late, some UMNO leaders had expressed their doubts about holding an early election just because some segments would prefer it.
It is the UMNO court cluster that is narcissistically obsessed with calling for an early GE15 despite the onset of the monsoon season with heavy rainfall and possibility of floods across the states.
The floods last year is a stark reminder of the hardship that people had gone through, claiming 55 lives and seeing more than 500,000 people displaced.
Public infrastructure, residential houses and crops destroyed during the floods also contributed to more than RM6 bil in losses.
But unfortunately, the UMNO court cluster represented by UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi seems oblivious to the possible hardship that might be imposed on Malaysians in general.
Of late, he has resorted to threats and blackmail against those who are standing in the way of an early GE15 particularly the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob.
If Ismail Sabri has his way, the GE15 would not be called this year – definitely not under the circumstances of bad weather, that is.
However, it is not too late to postpone the election as there is still time until the middle of next year.
There are forces that can function to thwart the narcissistic ambitions of the UMNO court cluster.
The country’s monarch the Yang di-Pertuan Agong might exercise his constitutional right in stalling the call for the early dissolution of the Parliament.
Given the bad weather conditions expected under the monsoon season, the Agong can exercise his discretion in whether to call for an early GE15.
The Agong is fully aware that holding elections under the conditions of bad weather might not be in the interest and welfare of the masses.
A situation should not rise where certain segment of citizens can be deprived of their voting rights under bad weather conditions.
The Agong has the responsibility and discretion to determine whether the Parliament can be dissolved just because certain self-interested segment within UMNO want an early election.
Opposition states like Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan need not dissolve their respective state assemblies in tandem with the dissolution of the Parliament.
Of late, Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow has warned that if the Parliament is dissolved for an early election, then Penang might not dissolve its state assembly.
If Selangor and Negri Sembilan follow the example of Penang, there is a possibility of putting a damper on the incessant quest of the UMNO court cluster to call for an early election.
Much earlier even PAS had hinted that if an early election is called for, the states under its control might not dissolve their respective state assemblies by opting for a later date.
I hope that PAS has not changed its stand over this matter as states under its control are much more prone to devastations during the monsoon season.
Ideally, Ismail Sabri would want to have the GE15 next year, after the monsoon season.
There is no rush in wanting the election early apart from the strange logic advanced by the UMNO court cluster.
An early GE15 will provide no assurance that Barisan Nasional (BN) will reap a magnificent victory. – Sept 21, 2022
Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also deputy chief minister II of Penang.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia