March date for next Parliament amid polls talk

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 – Cabinet has set March 7 for the next parliamentary session, despite growing speculation that snap polls will likely be held by the first quarter of next year.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider today that the decision was made last week and could lead to one of two possibilities – that snap polls will be called as early as February next year or not at all.

“Just do the calculation. If it is true that snap polls are going to be called, then it has to be called in February but after the Chinese New Year celebration.

“That gives us a small one-month window for the polls,” said a source.

According to the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year will fall on February 3 and 4 next year.

When approached by The Malaysian Insider later, Minister in The Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz confirmed that the date for the next parliamentary session had been decided by the Cabinet last week.

“Yes, March 7. It was decided in Cabinet last week. It will be duly informed soon,” he said.

Nazri, however, insisted that general election would not be held next year, as widely speculated.

“There is no [General Election]. Why don’t you believe it?” he said, smiling.

Speculation on the likely snap polls intensified yesterday after Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the party’s polls, scheduled for next year, would be put off by 18 months.