KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has announced the dissolution of Parliament effective tomorrow, paving way for the 14th General Election.
Najib made a “live” broadcast announcement on national channel TV1 at noon today, half an hour after he was scheduled to make the announcement.
In his speech today, Najib underlined seven achievements under his leadership.
He said these included an economic growth of 5.9 per cent, “among the highest in the world”, and the government’s embrace of moderate Islam while not subscribing to an understanding that is “too liberal and loose”.
“So why then the claim that Malaysia is a failed state?” he asked.
GE14 is expected to be highly contested and controversial, what with the Election Commission’s redelineation report and the Anti-Fake News Bill rushed through Parliament and immediate gazzetted just last week. The Registrar of Societies also issued PPBM, of which former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is chairman, a temporary suspension order yesterday.
The Star reported on its website that Najib had an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong earlier this morning, although other journalists, including Malay Mail’s stationed at Gate 1 at the palace here did not spot the prime minister entering.
Following the announcement, all state legislative assemblies, except Sarawak, are expected to apply for dissolution to ensure simultaneous parliamentary and state elections.
A total of 222 parliamentary seats and 587 state seats are at stake.
On the opposition front, several new parties will go to the polls for the first time, including Amanah, the PAS splinter party formed in 2015, and Warisan, the Sabah-based party led by former Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal.
The Election Commission will now set a date for accepting nomination of candidates, followed by two to three weeks of campaigning, based on past practice.
The exact nomination and polling dates will be decided by the Election Commission and announced later.
The general election must be held within 60 days of the dissolution.