KUALA LUMPUR: The 15th General Election (GE15) will be held by the end of July next year at the very latest, depending on the Covid-19 pandemic situation then, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
The Prime Minister said that would be his promise, and that it was the right thing to return the mandate to the people to elect a new government.
“I do not intend to cling on to power. In this situation, it is only right that the mandate is returned to the people to elect a new government when the time is appropriate.
“As such, depending on the pandemic situation (then), I am making a promise that the 15th General Election will be held, at the very latest, at the end of July next year,” the Prime Minister said in his special address on “Together in National Recovery” aired by local television stations today.
“As a human being, I am not without flaws and shortcomings, especially when having to shoulder responsibilities as the Prime Minister at a time when the nation is battling an extraordinary pandemic for more than a year,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he needed the backing and support of his colleagues in the Cabinet, state government leaders, government officials, frontliners and the people to enable him to carry out his responsibility of bringing the country out of the crisis.
“No less important is the support of my fellow Members of Parliament in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, for which I am here today. My legitimacy as the Prime Minister is determined by the majority support of the MPs.
“Unfortunately, while my colleagues and I in the Cabinet are working hard to manage the pandemic, a few MPs have withdrawn their support for me. This has raised doubts on my legitimacy as Prime Minister and Perikatan Nasional’s position as the ruling government,” he said.
Muhyiddin said according to the Federal Constitution, he had two options, namely to seek the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament and then hold elections, or to resign.
“I abide by the Constitution and will take the honorable path to resolve the ongoing political crisis. However, so far, not even a single member of the Dewan Rakyat can claim majority support to allow the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint a new prime minister,” he said.
Muhyiddin said if he was to take the easy path of resigning, then the Federal Constitution states that the Prime Minister must also relinquish the positions of all the Cabinet Ministers, which would cause the ruling Perikatan Nasional government to fall.
He said in a situation where there is no one MP with majority support at the moment, a new Prime Minister cannot be appointed.
“When the Prime Minister cannot be appointed, a new Cabinet also cannot be appointed and a new government cannot be formed.
“What would happen to the country if the political crisis prolongs and a new government cannot be formed immediately? Which government then can ensure the vaccination programme runs smoothly and according to schedule?” he questioned.
Muhyiddin said the next two months were extremely crucial as the country will be achieving herd immunity in October if all plans set by the government can be implemented as scheduled.
“If there continue to be disruptions due to endless political issues, and a legitimate government cannot be formed, the target for herd immunity will not be achieved and the lives of the people will continue to be in danger,” he said. – Bernama