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.
On Sep 30, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) supreme council decided that parliament must be dissolved soon so that GE15 can be held this year.
UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering, has been very vocal in pushing for snap polls, ostensibly to seek a fresh mandate from the people.
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 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.