KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that Barisan Nasional (BN) will consider looking at all factors for an early state election in Sabah this year.
However, the chairman of the ruling coalition has brushed off rumour of a snap poll and labelled it purely speculation, following a report claiming he had approved of it.
“We didn’t make any decision because there was nothing to decide on. As of now the matter is speculation,” he told the press after Umno’s monthly supreme council meeting here.
When asked to confirm the report that he was awaiting an assessment report on BN’s chances should an early election be held, Najib again dismissed the idea.
“We will consider all factors but again I would like to stress that this is purely speculative,” he said.
Yesterday, The Star had cited an anonymous source claiming that Najib had approved the move for a snap poll, but the final decision will be dependent upon a detailed evaluation of all the seats, expected to be ready next month.
Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has since said yesterday that the decision on holding an earlier state election in Sabah is solely up to the prime minister.
Sabah Barisan Nasional secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan also said today that the state chapter election machinery is prepared should a snap election be called.
Rumours that Sabah Barisan Nasional was keen on holding early elections swirled since June last year following the ruling coalition’s success in the Sarawak state election.
In Malaysia, any state may dissolve its legislative assembly independently of Parliament, but in practice, most states coincide their polls with federal elections.
Opposition parties made gains in Election 2013, winning 12 of the 60 state seats and three of the 25 parliamentary seats.
But defections have whittled this down to two federal and four state seats.
Sabah previously held state polls separately from the general election, but has synchronised with federal polls since 2004.
– Ma;ay mail