COMMENTARY, Aug 2 — All eyes are on Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the whole country waits for him to announce the date of the next general election (GE) now that he has fulfilled Umno’s wish that party elections be held six months after GE15.
However, the prime minister does not seem to be in a hurry to do so.
By what seemed like a fluke, Ismail broke tradition by being appointed prime minister while he was just one of the party’s three vice-presidents.
However, things have changed since then and today or rather this month, Ismail has everything under control as he is said to have been given the nod to continue as prime minister after the general election by the party’s top leadership.
He will also fight for the post of president at the party election.
The point is to revert back to convention as the party president should be prime minister.
For now with the top leaders’ agreement, Ismail just needs to focus on when is the right time to hold a general election to make sure BN wins.
Ismail is said to have met the leaders of all political parties and presented his plan for the Budget to be tabled on the last day of September after which parliament will be dissolved.
In this scenario, GE may be called by October before the rainy season in November and December.
Another scenario is that Ismail will dissolve parliament next year and hold the general election in February after the Chinese New year celebrations.
However, Umno leadership is pushing for the general election to be held by October given the Opposition is in disarray.
Among the Opposition parties, only DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) can work together while Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Negara (Pejuang) and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) are the two parties no other party will not go near.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is trying to find a way to win the hearts and minds of kampung voters.
PAS is trying hard to be allies with both Umno and Bersatu as the party finds itself losing its direction as an Islamist party.
For Ismail, the poster boy for BN, things look easier as the coalition has had two convincing victories in Melaka and Johor. Their election machinery is well oiled and is just waiting for the green light to go into action.