Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide 2022
Best News Website or Mobile Service
Digital Media Awards Worldwide 2022
Hamburger Menu




CNA Explains: What’s next now that Malaysia parliament has been dissolved?

CNA Explains: What’s next now that Malaysia parliament has been dissolved?
Malaysia's Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz delivers the 2023 budget speech at parliament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo:Famer Roheni/Malaysia Department of Information via AP)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Monday (Oct 10) that parliament has been dissolved, paving the way for national elections to be held before the end of the year.

Mr Ismail Sabri said he sought consent from the king at noon on Sunday to dissolve parliament and his request was accepted.

"The people's mandate is a powerful antidote for the country to achieve political stability and create a strong, stable and respected government after the 15th General Election," he said during a televised speech.

Now that the parliament has been dissolved, all eyes will be on the date of the polling day to be decided by the Election Commission (EC).


According to constitutional lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, the EC which is in charge of the conduct of elections now must fix a date for the general election.

“That date is to be within 60 days from dissolution,” Mr Sarwar told CNA.

The parliament was dissolved on Oct 10 and this means that the election must be held before Dec 9 of this year. 

The EC’s secretary Ikmalrudin Ishak said in a statement on Monday that they will hold a special meeting to discuss and determine the important dates for the general elections.

Lawyer Joshua Wu Kai-Ming told CNA that the EC has a role of exercising control and supervision over the conduct of the GE15, which include setting the dates for nomination and polling day as well as appointing election officers for each state and constituency.

The EC will also determine the duration of the campaign period, which will be from the  nomination day to the eve of the polling day. 

In his Monday announcement, Mr Ismail Sabri had requested all state governments, except in Sabah, Sarawak, Johor and Melaka to dissolve their respective state assemblies to coincide their state elections with the federal parliamentary election. 

States under the rule of  Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) have indicated that they will not dissolve their state assemblies at the moment.

The states of Perak, Pahang and Perlis which are under the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s administration are expected to announce the dissolution of their respective assemblies in the next few days.


Under Malaysia’s constitutional convention, the government of the day ceased to function with the dissolution of parliament and was replaced by a caretaker government. 

Mr Sarwar  said that the previous Cabinet can act as the caretaker government until a new one is formed after the election. 

The caretaker Cabinet should however restrict itself strictly to the ordinary matters of government, without involving major policy decisions that require parliamentary approval. 

“There should be no significant decisions involving policy or expenditure. They should not enter into any contracts,” he said.

Mr Wu said that countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada have written documents related to the restrictions on government activity upon the dissolution of parliament.

Malaysia however does not have any document of that sort, said Mr Wu.

He said that some of the general Westminster parliamentary constitutional conventions practised in those countries are still applicable to the caretaker government in Malaysia.

This includes maintaining the ‘status quo’ until the new government is formed especially in not making significant appointments to office. 

Mr Wu said that the constitutional convention in Malaysia is that as soon as parliament is dissolved, the Cabinet prior to the dissolution would automatically take over as the caretaker government.

He noted that in 2018, as soon as parliament was dissolved, the Cabinet headed by the then prime minister Najib Razak became the caretaker government.

“This practice is similar in countries like the UK, Australia, and Canada,” he said.

Chief secretary to the government Mohd Zuki Ali told Bernama that the Cabinet led by Mr Ismail Sabri will continue to function as a caretaker government with Cabinet meetings can carry on as usual despite the dissolution of parliament.

He said that while the Cabinet cannot decide on policy matters, it could still advise the king on matters related to the administration of the country.

The Cabinet can also continue to implement policies that have been decided before parliament was dissolved, added Mr Mohd Zuki. 


According to Mr Wu, The Supply Bill 2023 or generally known as Budget 2023 is deemed to have lapsed and will have to be retabled once the new government is formed after GE15. 

Citing Article 55(5) of the Federal Constitution, Mr Wu said that a Bill pending in parliament would not lapse by reason of the prorogation of parliament.

However, the Supply Bill is considered to have lapsed when parliament is dissolved and not merely prorogued.

“As such, the Supply Bill 2023 is deemed to have lapsed and accordingly will have to be re-tabled by the new government,” he said.

He added that the new government can choose to re-table the same draft Supply Bill 2023 which was tabled by the former Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz or table its own new draft Supply Bill 2023.

“This is within the prerogative of the new government. Had the Supply Bill 2023 been passed by parliament, and was merely pending royal assent, that would be a different story.

Article 55(7) of the Federal Constitution provides that the Bill, in such circumstances, would not lapse notwithstanding the dissolution of Parliament,” added Mr Wu. 


With the dissolution of parliament, all sittings for the House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat previously scheduled for its current term have been cancelled. 

It was scheduled to sit for 32 days for its third meeting under the fifth term of the current parliament. 

The third meeting of parliament  which started on Oct 3, had been in session for five days, including the tabling of Budget 2023 by Mr Tengku Zafrul last Friday. 

In a statement on Monday, parliament speaker Azhar Azizan Harun said all related activities, sessions and meetings scheduled earlier will also be cancelled.

“The process of holding the 15th General Election will now come under the jurisdiction of the Election Commission,” he said.

Source: CNA/nm(ih)


Also worth reading