UMNO President Says GE15 Likely To Be Held Before The End Of 2022

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition chairman, said that if the general election was delayed, the opposition would "kill" them by creating issues such as the littoral combat ships (LCS) to discredit BN.

Cover image via Berita Harian

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Over the weekend, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the Wanita BN Convention at the World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur that the 15th general election (GE15) will likely be held this year

According to Zahid, the possibility of holding GE15 in 2022 has been discussed among the "top five", including Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is also the UMNO vice president.

"My reading is that the election would be held this year. From what I read of the PM's (position), I believe he will listen to our advice and views. He (the PM), as a party member and as a leader, certainly knows that it is appropriate (for GE15 to be held soon) because issues will continue to arise and the opposition will instil a culture of hatred against our party," New Straits Times reported the UMNO president as saying.

Zahid said that it would be inappropriate to hold GE15 next year due to several factors, including a possible rise in the inflation rate

He told the Wanita BN Convention that the coalition has begun preparations for GE15 at all levels with plans to compete with the "underdog spirit" so that the party machinery can do its best to gain voter support.

"We must strive for more than what we have achieved before. We will work to be dominant in (GE15) this time, even though we are the underdog being attacked from various sides," Zahid said.

BN is the third largest political coalition with 42 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, after its allied coalition of Perikatan Nasional (PN) with 50 seats and the opposition coalition of Pakatan Harapan (PH) with 90 seats.

The UMNO president said that BN must be quick to fight the opposition over accusations, especially on social media relating to issues such as the littoral combat ships (LCS), to stop them from "killing" BN.

For the record, the LCS project — which has now turned into a multi-billion ringgit scandal — began under former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Zahid, who was the defence minister.

UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during his speech at the Wanita BN Convention in World Trade Centre.

Image via Bernama

Meanwhile, at the same convention, Ismail said that he will call for GE15 if a study by Wanita BN shows that voters favour the coalition

"It is not that I don't trust others, but reports of surveys by this women's wing are usually accurate. And if I get a full report on voter attitude from Wanita (BN) showing BN will win (GE15), I will dissolve Parliament," he said, adding that the survey should also cover those of other coalitions and fence-sitters.

Zahid is currently facing 45 charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abuse of power involving over RM114 million:

Earlier in June this year, a video showing Ismail wearing a vest that has GE15 printed on it while washing a plate went viral on social media: