Support for Umno will dwindle if GE15 not called soon: observers

Analysts cite economic uncertainties as factors influencing date of general election

(The Vibes) – Umno is expected to face a deficit in voter support if the next general election (GE15) is pushed back to a later time, said observers.

Their assessments of the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin party come as its leadership mounts pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to call for a snap election.

Awang Azman Awang Pawi, a sociopolitical analyst at Universiti Malaya, said Umno had ceased to take advantage of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals, which was perhaps the most opportune moment for the party to be contesting in GE15.

The academic said the withdrawals were the most “appropriate” time for Umno to be running in the polls if it had wanted to gain strong support from the people, especially from the B40 group, which is affected by the current economic situation.

“The approval for the EPF withdrawal was a feel-good factor for Umno to hold GE15 but it did not jump on the opportunity,” he told The Vibes’ Bahasa Malaysia sister portal Getaran.

“When the EPF withdrawals were approved, the B40 and M40 (groups) had given positive responses to the government, but it (dissolution of Parliament) was not announced.”

However, he said there were several reasons that prevented the election from being held sooner, including the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the federal government and the opposition for political stability.

The MoU is tipped to expire at the end of July this year.

The lecturer predicts a possibility where Ismail Sabri would announce the dissolution of Parliament as soon as the agreement ends or after the tabling of Budget 2023.

“Based on this context, there are two phases in which the government can dissolve Parliament, that is between June until September, or September until December.”

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