Malaysia could see snap election in March next year

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is reportedly considering a snap election possibly by March 2021, Sin Chew Daily cited the International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali as saying.

The move comes as the country is still in a shaky recovery phase from the Covid-19 pandemic and surprised a number of political stakeholders, let alone many in the public.

Sources close to the prime minister told Nikkei Asian Review that the prime minister has expressed an intention to “straighten the messy political scene by seeking a fresh five-year mandate from the people”.

Speculation over a snap election – which has never been held in Malaysia – came up in recent days and is perceived as highly unusual for being staged so soon after Muhyiddin took office. He became the country’s eighth prime minister only in March this year after a political coup led by opposition parties forced his mentor-turned-nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, to resign.

The Financial Times cited sources that Muhyiddin’s trusted aides and ministers were quietly laying the groundwork for federal polls, eyeing the first quarter of 2021. That would be almost three years after the Mahathir-led Alliance of Hope, which included Muhyiddin, ended the 63-year reign of the National Front coalition, then headed by Najib Razak.

Counting on the votes of ethnic Malays

The Prime Minister will be counting on the votes of Muslim ethnic Malays for his party, the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu), along with his current allies, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). Talks to establish a formal three-way alliance began recently.

However, some critics question the impact of a snap election on an already suffering economy, the paper wrote. Malaysia reached a meager 0.7 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2020, and the government expects further contraction in the second quarter, taking into account the nearly three-month coronavirus shutdown. Unemployment is expected to swell to 5.5 per cent — the equivalent of 860,000 people — by year-end.

The last election in May 2018 cost the government $116.9 million. According to the election commission, the planned one is expected to cost “much more.”

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is reportedly considering a snap election possibly by March 2021, Sin Chew Daily cited the International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali as saying. The move comes as the country is still in a shaky recovery phase from the Covid-19 pandemic and surprised a number of political stakeholders, let alone many in the public. Sources close to the prime minister told Nikkei Asian Review that the prime minister has expressed an intention to “straighten the messy political scene by seeking a fresh five-year mandate from the people”. Speculation over a snap election – which...

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is reportedly considering a snap election possibly by March 2021, Sin Chew Daily cited the International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali as saying.

The move comes as the country is still in a shaky recovery phase from the Covid-19 pandemic and surprised a number of political stakeholders, let alone many in the public.

Sources close to the prime minister told Nikkei Asian Review that the prime minister has expressed an intention to “straighten the messy political scene by seeking a fresh five-year mandate from the people”.

Speculation over a snap election – which has never been held in Malaysia – came up in recent days and is perceived as highly unusual for being staged so soon after Muhyiddin took office. He became the country’s eighth prime minister only in March this year after a political coup led by opposition parties forced his mentor-turned-nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, to resign.

The Financial Times cited sources that Muhyiddin’s trusted aides and ministers were quietly laying the groundwork for federal polls, eyeing the first quarter of 2021. That would be almost three years after the Mahathir-led Alliance of Hope, which included Muhyiddin, ended the 63-year reign of the National Front coalition, then headed by Najib Razak.

Counting on the votes of ethnic Malays

The Prime Minister will be counting on the votes of Muslim ethnic Malays for his party, the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu), along with his current allies, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). Talks to establish a formal three-way alliance began recently.

However, some critics question the impact of a snap election on an already suffering economy, the paper wrote. Malaysia reached a meager 0.7 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2020, and the government expects further contraction in the second quarter, taking into account the nearly three-month coronavirus shutdown. Unemployment is expected to swell to 5.5 per cent — the equivalent of 860,000 people — by year-end.

The last election in May 2018 cost the government $116.9 million. According to the election commission, the planned one is expected to cost “much more.”

NO COMMENTS

Leave a Reply