Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will deliver a “special message” in a television address at 1500 local time. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will deliver a “special message” in a television address at 1500 local time (0700 GMT), he said in a Twitter post on Monday.
The address comes after the premier last week raised the prospect of an early election and dissolution of parliament.
An election is not due until September 2023, but Ismail has been under pressure from some factions of his ruling coalition to hold the vote earlier for a stronger mandate and due to infighting.
An election must be held within 60 days of dissolution.
If he dissolves parliament soon, the election would come just as the economy starts to feel the pinch of rising costs and a global slowdown.
It would also coincide with the year-end monsoon season and floods, which could reduce voter turnout.
Many lawmakers from his ruling alliance and the Opposition have warned against holding elections this year due to the anticipated floods.
Ismail is under pressure from some colleagues in his United Malays National Organisation (Umno) party to call an early poll to take advantage of what they see as favourable sentiment towards them, and to form a more stable ruling coalition.
Umno has won elections held at the state level as recently as March, when it wrested control of the southern state of Johor back from the opposition which had been in power since 2018.
Malaysia has been mired in political uncertainty since the last election in 2018 — a historic vote in which the opposition ousted Umno, which had governed for more than 60 years since independence, due to widespread corruption allegations.
But the winning coalition collapsed in two years due to infighting, returning Umno to power in a new alliance.
Malaysia has had three prime ministers since the 2018 election. — Reuters