KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — An early general election is necessary with Perikatan Nasional’s advantage in Parliament only marginal, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak argued today.
He asserted that the government would have too much trouble pushing legislation through the Dewan Rakyat, particularly the federal Budget at the end of the year, to effectively govern.
A rejection of the Budget is also typically considered a vote of no-confidence against the government.
“In order to resolve the current instability as a democratic nation, the only choice left is to seek a fresh mandate from voters,” Najib said during a session broadcast live on Facebook last night.
The Pekan MP said PN’s claimed majority of 115, just three more than the bare minimum of 112 necessary to form a government, also meant it would remain under threat from Pakatan Harapan with its purported 107 federal lawmakers.
He cited his decades-long experience as an MP and politician, saying that lawmakers must vote twice whenever a Bill is tabled, and vote a minimum of 60 times when it comes to the Budget.
“It means MPs and ministers will find it hard to leave the Dewan Rakyat’s chambers. Ministers, in particular, who must attend various meetings will face difficulties as they are required to stay back in Parliament,” Najib said.
He also talked about the informal cooperation between PN and Muafakat Nasional comprising Umno and PAS, as there was still no decision on whether this would continue in the next general election.
“Some in the grassroots believe Muafakat (by itself) is the best way to go into the general election, yet there are others who wish for it to work together with Perikatan.
“Currently there is no final decision in Muafakat, since parliamentarians have already agreed to support PN,” Najib said.
He added that despite Umno having the most seats in Muafakat at 12, it is extraordinary that Parti Pribumi Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin serves as prime minister as a result of the agreement between his party and Muafakat.
Yesterday, it was reported that Muhyiddin was contemplating an early general election, possibly by March next year, to secure his personal mandate to govern.
PN came to power unelected after the PH administration collapsed following Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as the prime minister.