As we reach the second half of 2022, many people are wondering if there will be a general election in the next months. The answer depends on whom you speak with and whom they favour.
As a result, political analysts are concentrating on UMNO’s internal squabbles about when GE15 should be conducted, as this will influence who becomes prime minister. Currently, the party is divided into three distinct political factions that are vying for control.
Two of the three clusters want an election as soon as August of this year. The first is the “court cluster,” which is urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to call GE15 as soon as possible. This cluster hopes that GE15 would be held as soon as feasible and that the projected win for Barisan Nasional will be used to resolve their legal issues.
The second group aiming for an election this year is the “non-government cluster,” or a group of parliamentarians who are not members of the current government but want to be part of the next administration after GE15. Led by Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (also known as Tok Mat) is the deputy president of UMNO. Other important members of this group include Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, former second finance minister and corporate figure, and Datuk Khaled Nordin, UMNO vice-president and former minister.
A member of parliament for Rembau and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is also part of the government cluster, and many consider him a possible Prime Minister if he survives the present infighting. Another is Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, a senior minister in charge of defence and the son of former Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn.
This non-government group is campaigning for an early election to take over the country’s administration because they are not facing any legal issues that would prevent them from retaining office.
The third group, led by Ismail Sabri, is the “government cluster.” He is not in a hurry to dissolve parliament, having been described as an “accidental PM” who won the post because he was in the right place at the right time. That’s because there’s no certainty, he’ll be PM if UMNO/BN wins. He is neither the UMNO president nor deputy president, but one of the party’s three vice presidents. This cluster is generally known to desire GE15 only after the party election, which is scheduled for end-December unless the Registrar of Societies confirms UMNO’s plan to hold it after GE15.
While some members of UMNO want an election called quickly, the opposition parties, including the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, and Parti Amanah Negara, are not in a hurry. PAS and Bersatu (the party of previous Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin), both members of the present cabinet, want Ismail Sabri to serve the entire term.
These parties recognise that the tide is turning against them and that they must buy time to recover. The PH alliance, led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is still working out a plan, which might include a “big tent” model in which all opposition parties join hands and oppose BN to prevent dividing votes for them.
Bear in mind During GE14, Bersatu, DAP, PKR and Amanah stood under the PH umbrella and defeated BN, winning 113 of the 222 parliamentary seats.
There is also the issue of political tiredness. The voter participation in the Sarawak state election held late last year was 60.67 per cent, while the Johor state election in March this year witnessed a turnout of only 54 per cent (compared with the 85 per cent turnout during GE14).
While the general people may be exhausted, politicians are not. Major insiders believe there is a lot of manoeuvring, strategizing, and negotiating to go on at all political parties.
The Malaysian political landscape will undoubtedly be tenser in the second half of 2022. – airtimes.my