KOTA KINABALU, July 3 — Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk Chin Su Phin is of the opinion that the next general election should be held after the current government has served its full term.

“LDP agrees with the Prime Minister that the election should be held after the present government’s term ends, which will be in July next year.”

He said he is not in favour of an early election due to fluctuating Covid-19 cases, global inflation caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and current economic slump.

In addition, Chin said the anti-party hopping bill has yet to be tabled and passed in Parliament, which he hoped could be done by the end of the year or before the 15th General Election (GE15).

“In view of these factors, I do not think we should rush into the next general election,” he said after chairing the Supreme Council meeting here on Sunday.

Chin said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had called on ruling and opposition parties to set aside political tussles and work together on addressing the economic challenges when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down as prime minister.

He said the opposition coalition later signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the present government for the people’s sake.

While the opposition is in no rush for GE15, he expressed regret that some Umno leaders have been pushing for the dissolution of Parliament, as the Johor and Malacca state elections had given the party confidence in regaining control of Putrajaya.

“I must remind Umno that some of its leaders have been involved in corruption, power abuse and the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal that has caused Malaysia tremendous losses during GE14.”

However, he said Umno had not learned its lesson after losing power in the last election.

“The 1MDB issue was hearsay before GE14. After the election, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was charged with witnesses testifying against him.

“Several foreign banks and bankers were fined or even imprisoned because of the 1MDB fiasco.

“It is apparent that 1MDB has caused serious damage to Malaysia and the government is still finding ways to rectify the issue.” He said the Federal Court will decide on Najib’s final appeal against his jail sentence and fine in August.

“Irrespective of the court’s ruling, evidence that showed the massive sum of funds in Najib’s and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s accounts are morally wrong.”

Chin said the 1MDB scandal would certainly be one of the issues the opposition harp on in the next election.

He said Umno is undeniably an experienced veteran party that is not short of wise, intelligent leaders, Najib being one of them.

Although Najib has contributed towards the development of Sabah, he has triggered the 1MDB scandal that has inflicted great harm to the country.

Hence, Chin urged Sabahan voters to emulate their Sarawakian counterparts by uniting their votes for local parties in order to transform the current political landscape.

“If Sabahans and Sarawakians do not unite, our country’s politics will remain status quo even after GE15.” Therefore, he called on Sabahans to lend their strength to local parties in the next general election.

He said the combination of Sabahan and Sarawakian local political alliances will form a formidable political power to regain autonomy for both Sabah and Sarawak.

“For the past 60 years, Sabah and Sarawak have been demanding the Federal Government to return our rights.

“If Sabah and Sarawak unite, we will become a strong political force and kingmaker of the Malaysian government.”

On another note, Chin said the Supreme Council had established election coordinators for Chinese-majority and mixed parliamentary constituencies.

He said the election coordinators will assist the party in GE15 and campaign for local parties LDP supports in seats that the party does not contest in.

He added that Nicholas Ban has been appointed as the new New Generation Movement chief and a member of the Supreme Council.

Chin has also met with leaders and members of 10 west coast divisions, four Sandakan divisions and four Tawau and Lahad Datu divisions recently, and will soon visit Kudat and Tenom divisions, to explain the current political landscape in Malaysia and the impending GE15.

He said the party will engage non-governmental organisations and Chinese associations to its political talks that will be held in the near future as well. — Borneo Post