KUALA LUMPUR: It is unlikely that the 15th General Election (GE15) will be held this year, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) chairman said he does not expect the polls to be called before Budget 2023.
The government’s annual spending Bill, which was initially scheduled to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 28 have been brought forward to Oct 7, fuelling speculation that polls will be called this year.
The former premier said that GE15 cannot be held early as the government is also unprepared.
“The government is trying to find a slot when it will be well accepted by the people.
“At the moment, it has been rejected by the people. This we can see from what has been happening these last few days,” he said at a press conference after launching Parti Berjasa Malaysia’s Impian Nasional 2040.
“Personally, I don’t think it (GE15) is this year but we don’t know because Zahid (Umno chief Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) wants to prepare for the polls this year," added Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir said this is because Ahmad Zahid is facing charges in court, however adding that he thinks Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob) is not so keen,” he said.
The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairman said Ismail Sabri may want to stay as prime minister for as long as he can, adding that the government will only call for polls when it believes it can win.
Parti Berjasa recently announced a collaboration with several other parties under the GTA coalition.