September 12, 2022
KUALA LUMPUR – Not ruling out the possibility of early polls, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has reminded the Prime Minister not to cave in to any “threats” by those embroiled in court cases while setting a date for the 15th General Election (GE15).
“There is a possibility (of early polls), but I have said that a prime minister cannot set the date of the election based on the threats of a small group and their interest in closing their court cases,” the Pakatan Harapan chairman told reporters after a town hall session with youths here yesterday.
While he did not mention names, he was alluding to Members of Parliament and political leaders who were facing corruption cases in court.
Anwar said Pakatan had already anticipated that GE15 would take place in October or early November, and the election machinery was being prepared.
He was responding to questions on whether Pakatan is ready to face the polls if the election is called after Budget 2023 is tabled.
Speculation is rife that Parliament will be dissolved after Budget 2023 to pave the way for elections.
Anwar said discussions on the government’s spending plan, which is set to be tabled on Oct 7, have already begun.
“We are firm with our stance that the Budget has to be responsible and take into account the people’s problems, especially the poor, and structural changes must happen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anwar said negotiations on seat allocation with the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance’s (Muda) bid to join Pakatan are ongoing within Pakatan, and an announcement will be made in the near future.
He said that for Pakatan, the seats won on a party’s platform in 2018 will remain within the same party.
Anwar added that opinions would be considered on PKR Youth’s resistance to working with Muda.
“We consider everyone’s opinion, but as I said, even though there are reasons, we have to discuss the implications thoroughly,” the PKR president said.
“Whoever is with Pakatan has certain main principles to uphold. There are clear parameters that have to be accepted, but we have to give room for discussion,” he added.
On whether Pakatan is ready to hear Muda out, Anwar said ongoing discussions would continue.
“I have given the opportunity, and to my understanding, we have met most of the leaders, and I have also informed them that they can continue discussions with designated party leaders, and I think that is ongoing.”
“I don’t think there is a problem with initiating the discussions,” he added.