Three scenarios for the 15th General Election

One of the chief talking points in Malaysia today is when the next 15th General Election will be held – from as soon as in a month’s time to some time next year.

If Prime Minister Ismail Sabri dissolves Parliament after the Finance Minister has tabled the 2023 Budget in Parliament on Oct. 7, 2023, he would be following the sole example of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in dissolving Parliament in the midst of the parliamentary debate on the 2000 Budget on Nov. 10, 1999 for the 10th General Election on 29th November 1999.

This would be a bad and wrong example of the dissolution of Parliament to follow, and I would urge Ismail Sabri not to follow this bad example of the past in the building of a new Malaysian future.

There are many bad examples in nation-building in the past 65 years which should not be emulated and this is one of them.

It is a misuse of Prime Ministerial power to dissolve Parliament in midstream of debate on the annual Budget, and if Ismail Sabri asks the Yang di Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament after Oct. 7, the Yang di Pertuan Agong should advise the Prime Minister to let Parliament debate and pass the 2023 Budget unless a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister is adopted by Dewan Rakyat.

I foresee three possible scenarios for the 15th General Election.

The first scenario is a big win for UMNO, but who will be the 10th Prime Minister – Ismail Sabri or the UMNO President, Ahmad Zahid Hamii, his deputy Mohamad Hassan or two “dark horses” – Khairy Jamaluddin and Hishammuddin Hussein?

After the suitable period, will Najib Razak return as the 11th Prime Minister?

If the 15th General Election resulted in a big UMNO win and an UMNO government, then former Prime Minster Najib Razak may be freed from jail, and all the pending corruption cases against him and UMNO leaders may be dropped.

But most important of all, it will result in the end of the Rule of Law and the Independence of the Judiciary, and Malaysia would be well on way to become a kleptocracy, kakistocracy, a rogue and a failed state.

The second scenario will be a big win for Pakatan Harapan with Anwar Ibrahim as the 10th Prime Minister, with the work on the reform of institutions and the nation resumed after the Pakatan Harapan Government was toppled illegally, unconstitutionally and undemocratically after 22 months by the Sheraton Move political conspiracy in Feb. 2020.

A third scenario is no coalition wins sufficient numbers of MPs to be able to form a Government, let alone command two-thirds parliamentary majority and Malaysia embark on an unprecedented political experience.

Time will only tell which one scenario will eventuate from the 15th General Election whether held this year or next year.

In a very real sense, the 15th General Election will be a life-and-death struggle for UMNO, the rule of law and the very future of Malaysia.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri