GEORGE TOWN, March 18 — The Penang state government has the right to wait till 2023 before dissolving the state legislative assembly to pave the way for state elections, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.

The lawmaker said there was no need for the state election to be held at the same time as the national elections.

“This is not even a precedent, states like Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Melaka and Johor have already held state elections separately,” he told reporters after launching a SME CEO Forum at Setia Spice Convention Centre here.

He said the constitution clearly stipulates that respective states can decide when they want to call for state elections.

“As I said the state has the right to decide and we can decide to hold the election upon completion of full term,” he said.

Chow’s stance echoes the decision by Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council that the three states under the coalition should not dissolve their state assemblies until they fulfil their full term next year.

The PH presidential council had reportedly advised Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan state governments not to dissolve the assemblies until their term ends in 2023.

The mandate for the current federal administration is until May 2023.

Similarly, the mandate for Penang is also until May 2023.

The federal and state administration has to call for elections within 60 days after May, or by July 2023.