KOTA KINABALU – The Barisan Nasional (BN) may yet call for Sabah state elections earlier instead of holding it simultaneously with the rest of the country, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
Zahid who is also Umno vice-president said the party leadership is agreeable to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman’s proposal for separate polls, but will decide after receiving a detailed analysis.
“I think we should be open to the results of research and analysts to decide whether or not the state government should have it earlier.
“We will discuss this is in detail with the prime minister and the chief minister, who must have strong reasons to suggest earlier polls. We can make the considerations once the detailed analysis is done,” he told reporters after launching a Wanita Umno Information and Media squad event here earlier.
In Malaysia, any state may dissolve its assembly independently of Parliament, but in practice, most state assemblies dissolve at the same time, except for Sabah and Sarawak.
The last time Sabah held separate polls was 1999. For the last three elections starting 2004, the state legislative has been voted in at the same time as their parliamentary representatives.
The 14th general elections must be called by the middle of next year as the federal BN mandate expires then.
Analysts have said that earlier polls in Sabah is favourable to the ruling government, as it will capitalise on the current disarray within the Opposition bloc and separate local issues from those affecting the rest of the country.
But it would likely also mean that the 13 new state seats proposed by the Election Commission would not be in play.
– Malay Mail