KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — The Cabinet did not discuss the dissolution of Parliament in its meeting earlier today, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has confirmed.
Ismail Sabri also appeared to suggest that a viral screenshot of a purported text conversation between him and other Cabinet colleagues — which had allegedly touched on plans to dissolve Parliament — is not true.
“Now, if we see, there are all sorts of stories that are not true being circulated. There once was this instance, where my speech involving permission for Singaporeans to enter Malaysia was edited.
“My speech when I was doing a press conference was edited. Many heard my speech, but those who didn’t hear it, believed in the edited video. There are so many things that happened each day, that are intended to confuse the public,” he said.
Although appearing to indicate that he was not supposed to divulge information on the Cabinet meeting, Ismail Sabri went on to deny that the matter of Parliament’s dissolution as having been raised in Cabinet.
“I’m pleased to inform — actually I cannot inform — I’m pleased to state that there was a special Cabinet meeting, the issue of Parliament’s dissolution was not discussed in Cabinet today,” he said in a press briefing.
“Although I cannot say, but to answer that matter, it was not raised and it was not discussed.
“Sometimes I hope this kind of story, we filter it properly and not accept it at face value,” said Ismail Sabri, who is also Umno vice-president.Earlier today, news outlet Astro Awani cited an aide of Ismail Sabri as denying a screenshot of a purported Whatsapp conversation as fake. In the Whatsapp screenshot denied as fake, it appeared to suggest that Ismail Sabri had purportedly suggested to Umno division leaders that he and his Cabinet colleagues would allegedly propose for the dissolution of Parliament.
The dissolution of Parliament is usually the precursor to holding a general election, which Umno or Barisan Nasional appears to be intent in pushing.
Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa had on Twitter today spoke of the need to prepare for the Batu Sapi by-election, the Sarawak state election that must be held by August 2021, as well as the 15th general election.
Annuar, who is also Umno supreme council member, had also on October 19 said there is no need to think of a replacement for the current prime minister now and that Malaysia should immediately dissolve Parliament to hold a general election to let voters decide when the Covid-19 situation in the country eases.
Malaysia last had its general election in May 2018, and the federal government typically governs for a five-year term. Early polls can however be called before the current term ends in 2023.
Following the hours-long Barisan Nasional’s central leadership meeting held earlier today behind closed doors, Umno supreme council member Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin claimed that various views were discussed including renegotiating with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on concessions to be made in return for BN’s continued support.
Zahidi Zainul had also claimed that BN leaders had suggested the idea of forcing Muhyiddin to call for early polls, but said that it was felt that holding the 15th general election earlier is not the best way now and that it may be the best option when the Covid-19 outbreak eases.
Umno’s supreme council is set to have a separate meeting tonight, with the political party expected to discuss its stance on the Perikatan Nasional federal government led by Muhyiddin.
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