More than half a dozen indicators that GE15 will only happen in 2023

IT may be too early to rejoice but the early signs are pointing to the fact that Malaysians who don’t wish to wade through knee-high or chest level flood waters may likely get their way.

Although nobody knew what transpired between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and UMNO’s top five guns as he shot off to the party’s headquarters soon after his audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara at 4pm yesterday (Oct 6), there is likelihood that the “big brother’ of Barisan Nasional (BN) may not get what it wished for.

Here are some of the reasons (in no particular order):

  • That the date to dissolve Parliament was not discussed during the PM’s audience with the King which was confirmed by a well-placed source in the PM’s Office (PMO) and supported by information Malaysiakini gathered from the palace.

“Today was just a pre-cabinet meeting, a weekly meeting,” Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Seri Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin told the news portal, noting the palace has not received any instruction with regard to the dissolution of Parliament.

  • Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa has confirmed yesterday (Oct 6) that he had received a notice of today’s Cabinet meeting.

“I am a member of the Cabinet … the Cabinet meeting is usually held on Wednesdays but because of the Parliament sittings, it is being held on Friday,” Bernama quoted him as saying. “So we and the other ministers will attend the meeting as usual, work continues … Parliament is not dissolved yet.”

  • Where to set up polling stations given that over 2,000 schools and public facilities like community halls and multi-purpose halls have been gazetted as temporary evacuation centres (PPS) should the country be hit by floods.

“There is a lesson to be learned from what happened (during the floods) last year and I can see that the relevant agencies are better prepared this time,” Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali told Bernama and RTM.

The Meteorological Department had previously forecast the country to experience continuous heavy rain from mid-November, which could result in floods.

  • Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin revealed late yesterday (Oct 6) that a copy of Budget 2023 was sent to Parliament today. This disclosure was made through a tweet showing a photo of the vehicle used to send the document.

“The truck which delivers the Budget 2023 hardcopy statement has arrived at the Malaysian Parliament late this afternoon. #Bajet2023 #parlimenmalaysia,” she pointed out.

  • Straight from the horse’s mouth, the PM has asked all parties to wait for today (Oct 7) for an answer on whether Budget 2023 will be presented in the Dewan Rakyat.

“There are all kinds of speculations. Some are true, some are not true, so it’s better to continue the speculation until tomorrow (Friday), then we will know the answer,” he told the media after inspecting preparations for Budget 2023 at the Finance Ministry (MOF) yesterday (Oct 6). “Wait for tomorrow. If I say it out today, there will be no suspense.”

On a more commonsense note, the PM would have unlikely made a trip down to MOF if the tabling of Budget 2023 would have been called off with the dissolution of the Parliament (of course unless his presence is only intended as a wayang or sandiwara (drama).

  • Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has gained a first-hand account on disaster and flood preparedness at the National Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (PRABN) in Ampang, hence will be able to determine by himself the severity of the situation if he has to decide whether to consent or object to the notion for GE15 to be held during or close to the monsoon season.

The closed-door briefing was held at the request of His Majesty to find out the preparedness of relevant agencies to face the Northeast Monsoon season which is expected to occur from mid-November to March 2023.

The briefing was also attended by Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.

  • The Pakatan Harapan leadership has recently declared that the three states under its control – Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan – might not go along with the Federal Government in calling for the 15th General Election (GE15) this year.

It was decided in a recent meeting attended by the three state leaders that holding the election in the monsoon season was not in the best interest of the people. Similarly, PAS-led states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah will also not dissolve their legislative assemblies simultaneously with Parliament if a general election is held soon, according to its deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

  • And finally, there is always this gut feel that Malaysia’s ninth PM would wish to teach the mastermind behind the idea for a snap election that he is no pushover and ought to be accorded respect even though his administration did not earn the mandate of the Malaysian electorate.

He may also have come to terms to believe that GE15 is after all only intended to safeguard the interest of UMNO’s ‘court cluster’ jesters and nobody else. It could even be a treacherous act to betray the trust of the entire Malaysian populace or in the words of veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang, would make him “the most irresponsible PM in the nation’s history”.

“Not only that he has served the shortest tenure of 14 months, but he has (also) abdicated his responsibility to Malaysians to help them weather the worst monsoon and floods season in history and to cushion them from the economic crisis of rising prices and depreciation of the ringgit,” added the 81- year-old Iskandar Puteri MP. – Oct 7, 2022

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