An election is not due until September 2023, but Mr Ismail Sabri has been under pressure from some factions of his ruling coalition to hold the vote earlier.
In the weeks leading up to the dissolution of parliament, opposition parties criticised the possibility of an early election, arguing that the monsoon season will impede voters’ ability to access polling stations.
On Sep 30, the UMNO supreme council decided that parliament must be dissolved soon so that GE15 can be held this year.
UMNO’s call for an early GE15 has been criticised by the opposition and Mr Ismail Sabri’s own Cabinet members as Malaysia’s Meteorological Department has warned of floods during the north-east monsoon season, which typically starts in November and ends in March.
The presidential council of the main opposition bloc Pakatan Harapan (PH) said in a statement last Wednesday that the three states controlled by the coalition – Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Penang – will only dissolve their state assemblies next year due to concerns over floods.
State assemblies led by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) – Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah – will also not be dissolved if a general election is held soon, said party deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man last Wednesday, according to a report by Free Malaysia Today.
PN’s Cabinet ministers sent a letter to the king to voice their objections over holding GE15 this year, Mr Tuan Ibrahim said then.
PN, which comprises Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and PAS, was a component of the ruling coalition together with UMNO-led BN.