SINGAPORE, June 2 — Malaysia’s Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin told reporters in Singapore that Malaysia has to consider three main factors before calling for a general election, while noting the timing is entirely the prerogative of the prime minister.
The three factors that he listed is the country’s readiness in terms of public health, the momentum of the economic recovery and political considerations.
Khairy who is here for four days since May 31, 2022 as Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow said this when asked on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement on Wednesday that he “will not delay, even for a second”, the dissolution of the Parliament “once BN (Barisan Nasional) is fully prepared”.
“We have to look out for new variants.. to know the waves of infection. Right now it is okay, but I need to be confident that this can be sustained,” he said explaining on the public health factor.
On economic recovery he said Malaysia is lucky in the sense that it is a producing country even though it is currently confronted with some inflationary pressure.
“We have palm oil…we have some engines of growth that are pushing the economy forward…so we want to get economic momentum there,” said Khairy.
On political consideration the Rembau Member of Parliament said BN itself should be ready to face the election.
“We need to make sure that BN is ready. It is not just the country is ready, there has to be a conducive environment for elections,” he said adding that in a nutshell we have to look at the entire context of recovery in preparing for an election.
On the timing to have a general election, Khairy reiterated that a recovery in both economy and health is very important.
“They have to be a momentum. We just starting to see the start of the recovery. And secondly, is there any real big urgency to have the election? I don’t think so. Of course, many people say political stability. Decisive victory. Yes, but, what’s the difference between this year and next year?
Khairy also sent a strong message to those people who have been saying “let us have an election now”.
“I don’t think those wanting the elections are the ones who are thinking about preparing the election machinery and the resources…with the right people…with the right slate of candidates to contest in the general election.
“It is not a state election. This is general election. This is serious, and I think PM (prime minister) is well aware that we need time to ready ourselves for both the country, as well as the party.
“My message to people also our party leaders, who say we should have an election now, we respect your views…but stay in your lane… calling for an election is the prime minister’s lane…you’re not in that lane,” he said.