JOHOR BARU, Jan 17 — Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad today said the need for a state election cannot be ignored completely but maintained that calling for a state election is not an easy task as the state government has to abide by rules and procedures.
He said there must be a proper justification to hold a state election.
“We cannot simply advise the Sultan of Johor to dissolve the state assembly.
“It is not to my whims and fancy as to when a state election can be held. Like I said, we have certain rules and conditions that must be observed first,” said Hasni after officiating the flag-off ceremony for the Air Asia Super App in City Square Johor Baru here this evening.
He was commenting on the possible date to dissolve the state assembly following rumours that there will be an impending election in the southern state ahead of the national polls.
Hasni, who is also the Johor Umno chief, said he will personally be guided by the requirements set out under the state constitution.
He also added that Johor Umno has not discussed having a state election.
Earlier, Hasni said that as mentri besar, he has to be more sensitive to the stability of the government due to the ruling coalition having a slim majority in the state assembly.
“So, I cannot reject the need to have a state election. I need to study and look into the matter.
“With this slim majority, the challenge to stabilise this government requires me to be more careful and sensitive in developing the state,” he said.
Hasni pointed out that there are also investors who require the state government’s stability as a precondition for them to come and invest.
“Of course I am looking for ways so this does not drive the investors away.
“That is why I said from the beginning that I need to study and look at the matter first,” said Hasni.
Over the past week, speculation has been rife that Johor may hold a state election. The rumours started shortly after the death of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) Kempas assemblyman Datuk Osman Sapian last December 21.
His death has put the current state government situation as a one-seat majority in the legislative house.
Hasni from Umno currently leads the state government with 28 seats (Barisan Nasional holds 16 seats while Bersatu has 11 seats and PAS, one) while the Opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition controls 27 seats in the Johor state assembly.