Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi played down talk of a state election in Johor, saying it would not be “out of the ordinary” for the party if elections are held soon.
He said the Umno machinery was always prepared for the possibility of elections.
“We will abide by the EC (Election Commission)’s decision. Our machinery has been ‘operational’ for quite some time, especially as by-elections had been held in several constituencies,” he said.
To a question on how confident Umno is of winning the polls should an election be called, Zahid said it should be based on “science and data”.
“Before (the Johor state assembly) is dissolved, we cannot talk about being confident, but I would think the people would want a better result (for us) compared to our showing in the 14th general election or state elections.”
Johor menteri besar Hasni Mohammad, when asked recently about rumours of early state elections, did not deny them, reiterating that his government must keep its options open.
However, he said no decision has been reached despite his administration holding only a one-seat advantage in the state assembly.
The rumours started making the rounds shortly after the death of Kempas assemblyman Osman Sapian of Perikatan Nasional on Dec 21 last year.
The BN-PN state government currently has 28 seats, against Pakatan Harapan’s 27.