KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — The Cabinet is divided on whether or not to call for a general election this year, Utusan Malaysia reported today.
The national daily reported an unnamed minister saying a number of other Cabinet members were not in favour of dissolving the 14th Parliament before Budget 2023 is tabled on October 7.
According to the newspaper, ministers from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and PAS wanted the government to focus on the economy and preparing for the upcoming monsoon flood season rather than hold an election at this time.
The same unnamed minister told Utusan Malaysia that those in favour of polls this year were Umno ministers.
While GE15 has been a hot political topic recently, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man indicated that the Cabinet meeting yesterday focused on flood preparedness and economic recovery.
“It was discussed briefly and it was agreed that attention should be given to public welfare issues, flood preparations and economic recovery,” the PAS minister was quoted as saying.
Tuan Ibrahim reportedly added that there was no decision on setting a date for the election.
Similarly, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who is from Umno, told the Malay paper that the Cabinet only discussed flood preparations during its weekly meeting yesterday.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had hinted last Saturday that GE15 could be held soon during his speech at the launch of the Barisan Nasional Youth machinery here.
Rumour of an early general election began gaining traction when Ismail Sabri announced that Budget 2023 would be tabled three weeks earlier than the original date on October 28.
Political analysts predicted that Parliament would be dissolved a day after the Budget tabling.
Malaysia's 14th Parliament expires in July 2023.
Under the law, a general election must be held within 60 days of Parliament's dissolution.