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Pahang and Perlis dissolve legislatures, paving the way for state polls to be held during Malaysia's GE15

The status of the state legislatures for Perak, Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan remains uncertain.

Pahang and Perlis dissolve legislatures, paving the way for state polls to be held during Malaysia's GE15
A woman casts her ballot during a state election at a voting centre in Malacca, Malaysia on Nov 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR: Two states under the administration of Barisan Nasional (BN) – Perlis and Pahang announced on Friday (Oct 14) that their legislatures have been dissolved, paving the way for polls at both state and national levels to be held simultaneously.

In a press conference, Perlis chief minister Azlan Man said that he and state assembly speaker Hamdan Bahari were granted an audience with the Raja of Perlis the day before. 

“His Royal Highness has given his consent and the date of dissolution of the state assembly, effective today,” he said.

There are 15 seats in the Perlis state legislature. Before the dissolution of the 14th state assembly, 10 seats were represented by Barisan Nasional (BN), three by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and two by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).

Separately, Pahang chief minister Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said he was granted an audience with Pahang Regent Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan. 

He said that the regent, in accordance with Clause (2) Article 26 Part Two of the Pahang Constitution, has given his consent for the state assembly to be dissolved. 

“Today was chosen to allow the tabling and debate on the state Budget 2023 to be completed first, thus obtaining approval to be implemented next year. The state government believes there is a need to also participate in the general election,” he said during a press conference on Friday. 

On Thursday, Mr Wan Rosdy said that the status of the state assembly will be known soon after passing the state budget for next year.

According to a Bernama report, he said the priority was to pass the budget which was tabled last Friday so that the state government’s plans for the people could be implemented.

On Wednesday, Perak chief minister Saarani Mohammad requested the dissolution of the state assembly during an audience with Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.

Mr Saarani then said that the sultan would only announce his decision on the matter later. The Perak state assembly is also led by BN.

Several days after the dissolution of Malaysia’s parliament at the federal level, there is lingering uncertainty regarding the status of the state assemblies.

PENANG STILL WAITING

Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general Anthony Loke said on Tuesday that the Penang state chapter of his party has asked for a review of the decision by Pakatan Harapan (PH) against dissolving the state assembly. 

“There are views from many people, especially in Penang, for the elections to be held at the same time,” he was quoted as saying by local media.

At the same time, states under PH including Selangor and Negeri Sembilan have yet to make a firm decision on whether to dissolve the state assemblies. 

On Friday, the chairman of DAP’s national legal bureau, Ramkarpal Singh urged the coalition to consider its decision of having state elections separately from the national polls.

He said that there is “nothing unprincipled” in holding concurrent elections now as it is certainly in the interests of the people. 

Mr Ramkarpal also claimed that the people in Penang do not want separate elections. He said that their wish “to hold state and parliament elections concurrently is overwhelming”. 

“I wish to appeal to the PH leadership to seriously consider holding simultaneous parliament and state elections now in all its states as we will be stronger facing the opposition now,” he said in a statement. 

Selangor chief minister Amirudin Shari reportedly said on Tuesday that Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah wanted the current PH state government to complete its full term. 

Negeri Sembilan chief minister Aminuddin Harun also reportedly said on Tuesday that there are no plans to dissolve the assembly, although PH’s presidential council would have the final say on the matter.

On Thursday, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang confirmed in a statement that the three state assemblies led by his party – Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan will not be dissolved. 

He said the party has decided to strengthen its ties with Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the upcoming general election. 

“We will strengthen our collaboration with PN for the coming polls to unite the ummah (Muslims),” he said. 

PAS is a component party of PN. 

With the exception of Sarawak, national and state-level elections have usually been held concurrently in Malaysia. 

For now, the state assemblies of Sabah, Sarawak, Johor and Melaka are out of the equation as polls were held recently.

The Election Commission will have a special meeting on Oct 20 to discuss and set important dates for the 15th General Election (GE15) and the state by-election for Bugaya in Sabah.

Source: CNA/nm(aw)

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