KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 ― Subang Umno has confirmed today that a viral photo of a signboard in its office denoting that the 14th general elections will be held less than 200 days away is real.

Despite that, division chief Zein Isma Ismail was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini that the “178 days” deadline to the polls is just based on its own prediction of June 30, a few days after the Aidifiltri celebration and after the school holiday period.

“The notice ‘GE14 178 days away’ is based on our own deadline to ensure that all Umno divisions are prepared,” Zein was quoted saying.

The portal had previously quoted division secretary Mohd Rashidi Mohamad saying that the photo was authentic.

The photo had shown the signboard located beside the door of what was labelled as Rashidi’s office.

In September, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had dismissed speculations that he will call for general elections before the expiry of his Barisan Nasional government’s mandate in 2018.

His office later clarified that Najib had merely said that the holding of elections is not due to any single factor.

Word of national polls being held as early as March 2017 gained traction earlier this month when business news wire Bloomberg cited several anonymous leaders from the prime minister’s party Umno saying so, to leverage on the disunity within the Opposition parties.