With the Covid-19 vaccine soon to be made available to Malaysians, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan says snap parliamentary elections should be held as quickly as possible.
Ahmad said a fresh general election was the only way to resolve the political instability caused by Perikatan Nasional clinging to power with what he described as the “slimmest majority in the world”.
“To be a government, (the coalition) needs 112 (parliamentary seats), and this government only has 112. So we propose that an election be called as soon as possible,” he said after opening the Pontian Umno division’s annual meeting today.
“Another reason is that the Covid-19 vaccine has been found and we will start our vaccination programme from February.”
Hours later, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that the party and Barisan Nasional would contest in all the seats won at the 2018 general election. “Those are Umno seats, Umno is claiming them back,” he said at Bagan Datuk Umno’s divisional meeting.
After the 2018 general election, 16 MPs from Umno had left the party, leaving it with only 38 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.
Ahmad Maslan said Perikatan Nasional, which came to power in March last year, should not use the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason to delay the election, adding that political stability should be restored.
“I hope we no longer win only 111 parliamentary seats plus one (seat). After the elections, it may be 111 plus another 40 or 50 seats, which means the government can be a stable one,” he said.
Ahmad said a stable political environment is vital for strengthening the economy. “Investors used to come here because Malaysia had a stable political environment. But now things have changed and they have moved to other countries,” he said.
Perikatan Nasional came to power in March after the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government when Dr Mahathir Mohamad, then the PH chairman, resigned as prime minister.
PH had formed the federal government in 2018 after the coalition secured 121 seats in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat together with its Sabah ally Warisan. A simple majority of 112 seats is required to form a government.