When will GE 15 be held?

PARLIAMENT turned four on July 16 and ‘tis the season for election fever! But how long would this season last?  

It depends on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on when he wants to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to advise the King to dissolve Parliament. 

In Malaysia, on average a general election (GE) was usually held any time after four years have elapsed from the first sitting of the Parliament that was held soon after the previous GE (See Table 1 below). 

However, if Parliament is not dissolved by July 16 next year, then Parliament will automatically dissolve itself on that day to make way for GE15, which must be held within 60 days i.e., by Sept 16 2023.  

With the looming GE15 that could take place at anytime from now, it is understandable political parties are earnestly preparing for it, leading rather quite early to this phenomenon of election fever. 

They should prepare early to ensure their election machineries are well oiled, party members and activists are well taken care of and united solidly behind their leaders, and coming out with an excellent and realistic manifesto that champions the welfare and interest of the rakyat in this difficult time. 

The price of unpreparedness at its worst is in being consigned to the status of opposition forever and ever, and at best in being a kingmaker.   

Although it is still early to predict which party or coalition will win, pundits are casting their sights on Barisan Nasional (BN) and its lynchpin UMNO.  

However, most analysts say the day when a party or coalition would win with a handsome majority (not necessarily a two-thirds majority) is over. 

So even if BN wins, it would be likely a precarious majority, which means politicians of all hues must learn the art/science of making compromises after the GE so as to prevent instability to the country. 

And if compromises are to be made after the GE, then all politicians must watch their mouth during this election fever especially during campaigning. 

Loose-cannon politicians with their mud-slinging statements during this time would make it very difficult to arrive at compromises after the GE. 

BN, which has ruled the country uninterruptedly for some 60 years, was brought down by Pakatan Harapan (PH) in GE 14 but PH was unable to match BN’s record of longevity in ruling, at least for one term (five years) and lasted only 22 months in power.   

PH leaders and supporters seem to blame this pathetic performance on the traitors (pengkhianat) among them who are now in the Government. 

They even go to the extent of accusing UMNO, PAS and other coalition parties in the Government as traitors for “stealing” the mandate of the people in the famous Sheraton Move.   

Such is the sad story of PH who – two years after Sheraton Move – is still unable to move on and come to term with its loss of power, and is obsessed with accusing others as traitors and calling the current government a backdoor/failed government in its further obsession to rule the country, come what may. 

Obsession seems to be a major disease in PH – obsession with becoming prime minister, obsession with the mandate of the people, and obsession with labelling others as traitors. 

They should do some soul-searching and asked themselves why do they have such “first-class traitors” in their midst in the first place, and why their sojourn to power was a brief one. 

Surely when there are traitors in your midst then all the blame cannot just go to the traitors alone because it takes two, or more than two, to tango. 

And perhaps their path to a brief sojourn in power could be explained in that in their desperate attempt to bring down BN in GE14, their manifesto promised everything on the moon! 

Contrast this with BN manifesto all these years before GE14. It may not be as excellent as the PH manifesto in 2018 but the acid test lies in its attempt to implement it as much as possible while in power. 

That is perhaps one of the secrets of BN’s longevity in power. 

BN/UMNO members calling for GE15 to be held soon or at least within this year should hear Ismail Sabri’s sobering assessment on this. 

In his speech at the Wanita BN convention on Aug 14, Ismail Sabri called for a mood survey on the ground, not just among BN members but also all potential voters to assess the mood on the ground for the coming polls. 

“We cannot go to war in the dark. We don’t know our strengths. How do we get voters on polling day if we don’t have this survey?” he said.  

“BN’s membership is only about 30%. The rest are not with us and there are some who may be on the fence.   

“Let’s not be too excited by a mood survey involving our members only because, of course, they are our supporters,” he said, adding that many leaders had claimed in the past that they could win simply by basing their prediction on their members’ support, but they eventually lost. 

“This is why I am depending on Wanita BN to do an accurate survey of non-party members, including the youth who have yet to decide.”  

Ismail Sabri is spot-on on this. At the end of the day what matters is the vote of all registered valid voters, and not just the vote of all registered valid BN voters, which according to the PM is only about 30%. 

Describing the coming polls as “a tough one”, he said BN should not underestimate the opposition bloc, which might already be planning its steps to return to power. 

“I would like to stress that we cannot look down on our opponents, who possibly may have drafted their plans to reconquer Putrajaya. We are facing an uphill battle,” he added. 

Thus, he stressed it is important for the coalition’s Wanita machinery to be strengthened and to form new strategies to face the challenging political scenario, as new political fronts might take shape to challenge BN in the polls and that there had been repeated attacks on the government. 


“The attack on the government today is an attack on the BN leadership. Therefore, it is our responsibility to explain the real issues,” he said. 

On this, the PM is not 100% correct because the attack on the government today is actually an attack on the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by him – an UMNO PM – as the bulk of support for him comes from PN, with BN comprising only 42 MPs out of 117 in the governing coalition. 

So, all parties in the governing coalition should chip in in explaining the real issues whenever the government is attacked by the opposition and their supporters including non-governmental organisations. 

Now, the million-dollar question: When will GE15 be held? 

There are two scenarios here: Firstly, if it takes Wanita BN to complete the survey in four months while taking into account it is a massive one involving respondents who are not members of BN, then Ismail Sabri will receive the findings of the survey only in January, ruling out GE15 to be held this year. 

But despite the odds, if Wanita BN manages to complete the survey in two months, then there will be two sub-scenarios, as Ismail Sabri will get the findings in November. 

The first sub-scenario pertains to Ismail Sabri getting the feel that the findings provide some assurance BN has a good chance of victory.  

He will then ask for Parliament to be dissolved in November and GE15 could be held either in November or December. 

But if he doesn’t get that comfy feeling from the findings and that it would be an uphill battle for BN, then the second sub-scenario will kick in whereby GE 15 would be held next year. – Aug 19, 2022 


Jamari Mohtar is the Editor of Let’s Talk!, an e-newsletter on current affair. 

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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