KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The tabling of Budget 2023 is on track for October 7, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said, following speculation that Parliament might be dissolved before that, to pave the way for the 15th general election (GE15).
A spokesman from the ministry confirmed the matter to the media when queried today.
Earlier today, Malaysiakini reported PKR and DAP MPs and leaders, whom the news portal had contacted, as saying that they have heard that the Parliament would be dissolved before the Budget is tabled on Friday.
However, they reportedly said that they were unable to verify the information.
In August, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar confirmed that the tabling of Budget 2023 had been brought forward to October 7, three weeks earlier than the originally scheduled date of October 28.
In a statement, the de facto law minister said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob used his authority under Rule 11(2) of the Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order to fix the sitting earlier.
Wan Junaidi said that the change followed the need for the government to amend the calendar of the third meeting to enable the expedited tabling of Budget 2023.
“In addition, it is to enable the presentation of the Supplementary Supply Bill 2022 and the Fiscal Responsibility Bill to be presented once the Supply (Budget) Bill 2023 is approved in the Dewan Rakyat,” he added.
The upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting was initially scheduled to take place between October 28 and December 15.
The current leadership has until September next year to call a general election, but Ismail Sabri is under increasing pressure to hold it sooner following fallouts among members of the ruling parties.
Umno specifically is pressing for polls to be held as early as possible, especially after Barisan Nasional’s (BN) landslide victories in state elections and with the Opposition still in disarray.
Moments ago, national news agency Bernama reported that Ismail Sabri and Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were holding a meeting with party members from 191 Umno divisions at the World Trade Centre (WTC) here.
Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan reportedly said that the meeting involved over 700 delegates including divisional chiefs, as well Youth, Wanita and Puteri chiefs.
“Only good things," Ahmad was reported to have said, when queried if the matters to be discussed include GE15.
Earlier, at a separate event, Ismail Sabri said the decision to dissolve Parliament should not involve open discussion, including involving the government and Opposition parties, and instead, should be done only if the prime minister feels that the Parliament should be dissolved.
“The decision to dissolve Parliament has nothing to do with other political parties. It was never discussed openly before. The Parliament dissolves when the prime minister announces the dissolution.
“No political parties ever gave their opinions or interfered in the matter. Never. It was never discussed within the (ruling) party, let alone with others,” he told reporters after launching the Idea Bina Negara (IBN) digital platform.
Ismail Sabri said as prime minister, he has the power to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the Parliament, but it is the King who has the absolute power to make it happen.
“Some say it should be dissolved before the tabling of Budget 2023, some say it should be on Monday after the tabling, some say next month, some say next year, so many speculations. Let’s just wait,” Bernama reported the Bera MP as saying.