If there is a good reason to hold the snap polls, we will agree to it, says PM

(The Star) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he did not give any conditions to Umno party leaders in agreeing to call for snap polls this year.

Ismail Sabri, who is also an Umno vice-president, said he had reached a consensus as one of the top five of the leadership on Friday as there was a need to return the mandate to the people as soon as possible.

“We (Umno top five) have always stated that there is a need to hasten the general election as we want to return the mandate to the people.

“I did not give any conditions. We will have the Umno top five meeting, the political bureau meeting and the supreme council meeting before we decide.

“If there is a good reason to hold the snap polls, we will agree to it – that has always been our stand.

“As for the date (of dissolution of Parliament), please wait. You have waited since last year, you can wait a little while more this year,” said Ismail Sabri.

He was speaking to the media after attending a special gathering of 1,500 teachers organised by the National Union of Teaching Profession at the Matrade Convention and Exhibition Centre here yesterday.

On Sept 30, the Umno supreme council stated that the Prime Minister would be meeting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong soon to advise on the date for dissolving Parliament this year to pave the way for the next general election.

This came after months of insistence by Umno leaders led by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to hold snap polls, despite reasoning by those supporting Ismail Sabri that it would be unwise to hold the elections during the monsoon season due to floods.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan released a statement on Friday that the dissolution of Parliament must be made as soon as possible to allow the 15th General Election to be held by this year.

“Based on this decision, the Prime Minister will then present the proposed dates of dissolution to the King, in line with Article 40(1) of the Constitution,” said Ahmad.

The decision made by the Umno supreme council, he said, was consistent with the party’s stand from the beginning to return the mandate to Malaysians after the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government in February 2020.

The Umno supreme council had also instructed the entire party machinery to finalise all electoral preparations.

It added that only by going to the polls can a stable government be formed, which is crucial to national economic recovery.