KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Barisan Nasional (BN) is keen for the dissolution of Parliament to pave way for a new general election just 18 months after being defeated by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today after the Opposition’s landslide win in Tanjung Piai.
The BN chairman who is on trial for 47 corruption charges supported Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s push to dissolve Parliament, saying all their MPs shared the same sentiment even as he acknowledged that the prerogative was with the prime minister.
“That is the stance of all the Opposition MPs. However, that decision is up to the prime minister. For us, what happened in Tanjung Piai was a signal. And the signal must be understood clearly,” Ahmad Zahid told reporters in Parliament.
He stopped short of saying that the Opposition will call for a vote of no-confidence.
Instead, the Bagan Datuk MP said the Opposition MPs believe in democracy and that Ismail Sabri was only giving a suggestion.
“We believe in democracy and the due process of democracy has to be translated into where the constitution and the Election Commissions Act has to be followed,” said Ahmad Zahid.
Touching on the Tanjung Piai by-election itself, he observed that it was not only a swing of support from the Chinese to BN but also a return of support from the youth.
Out of 93 voting streams, BN only lost in one stream and took home the rest. This reflects a total rejection of PH from the Tanjung Piai constituents.
Ahmad Zahid acknowledged the Johor parliamentary by-election was not a national referendum, but said it should be taken as a show of current voter support for the BN.
“Even though there is no allocation for an Opposition MP, for them, it is not as important as sending a signal to the current government that they should address the public unhappiness.
“What we can see is an unexpected majority and that they should not look down on the Opposition MPs and our voice,” he added.