UMNO wants the general election to be held this year so it can obtain a fresh mandate to end Malaysia’s political fragility, said Sabah UMNO chief Bung Moktar Radin.
He also said a new mandate from the people was needed as the current government was only formed on the understanding that it was mainly to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders have already taken a stand not to extend the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government and Pakatan Harapan, which expires on 31 July.
He added that the decision against the extension was an obvious signal that UMNO and BN wanted the general election this year.
“UMNO thinks that the general election must be held some time after the MoU ends. I’m not sure when but definitely this year,” he was quoted saying by FMT.
The Kinabatangan MP also said a fresh mandate will allow them to build a solid and powerful government, and this will stabilize the economic situation in Malaysia.
He said investors have not been coming in as they are not too confident with the nation’s political stability.
“They consider Malaysia politically fragile as the prime minister can fall the moment any party withdraws its support. We have gone through 3 governments in one term, it’s not good for the country, economy and the people. That’s why we need a fresh mandate,” he said.
On Thursday (14 April), the UMNO Supreme Council decided that it will not extend the MoU between the Ismail government and Pakatan Harapan (PH) after it ends in July.
Ismail, also UMNO’s vice-president, said his government would follow the UMNO Supreme Council decision but did not dismiss the possibility that some changes could happen before the end of July.
However, he added that he will still seek the approval of the top party leadership “if there are any changes”.
Previously, PH offered to renew the MoU on the condition that Ismail did not immediately hold a general election after UMNO’s landslide victories in the Melaka and Johor state elections.