PM: GE15 at the ‘right time’

PUTRAJAYA: While the mandate should be returned to the people to choose their government, the challenge is to determine the right time to call for the national polls, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said many considerations needed to be looked into before making the call.

“With three changes in the government since 2018, it is better to give the people the opportunity to elect a new government.

“But there are matters that still need to be worked on and resolved, particularly the economy,” he said.

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Ismail Sabri said the global economic forecast for next year is not encouraging and the government must look for measures to cushion its impact on the nation and the economy.

He added that from a political standpoint, Parliament would be dissolved when his party is confident of its chances in the polls.

“We need to find the right time to go to the polls. We must gauge what our chances are if we do it now or next year,” he said.

“Finding the right balance is hard, given the current situation.”

While the current Parliament term ends July next year, Umno has been pushing for early polls.

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To a question, Ismail Sabri said that how long he serves as Prime Minister did not matter.

“There is no point in serving for 20 years but bringing no benefits to the people. A short stint but it is filled with successes is more meaningful,” he said in an interview with the media in conjunction with his first year in office.

He was asked about views that the polls should only take place next year to avoid him serving as Prime Minister for only a short period.

Ismail Sabri, 62, was sworn in as Malaysia’s ninth Prime Minister on Aug 21, 2021.

On his relationship with Umno’s president, Ismail Sabri said their relationship went back to when Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was a student at Universiti Malaya.

“We are like this,” said the party vice-president as he locked his fingers as a sign of how close they were.

Ismail Sabri said he would drop by Ahmad Zahid’s house in between meetings and events, adding that there was no reason for him to make the visits public.

“Talk of a split in Umno is by people outside the party who draw their own perception of things they don’t know,” he said.

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