Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad is expected to seek an audience with state ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar next week to obtain the ruler’s consent to dissolve the state legislative assembly.
A Johor Umno source said the state legislative assembly is expected to be dissolved by late next week with state polls to be held either in the middle or at the end of February.
“Preparations to dissolve the state legislative assembly to pave way for state polls are in full swing with the menteri besar, who is also the Johor Umno Liaison chairperson, is expected to seek an audience with Sultan Ibrahim next week.
“With the ruler’s consent, an official letter will then be sent immediately to the state speaker Suhaizan Kaiat so that an official statement can be issued on the dissolution of state legislative assembly,” the source was quoted by Berita Harian as saying yesterday.
“The state legislative assembly might be dissolved by late next week.
“The state poll is expected to be held in mid-February after the Chinese New Year. This is also to avoid clashing with the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination and the Umno general assembly, which will take place in March,” added the source.
It was reported that Hasni would hold a press conference after chairing a special meeting with Johor Umno today.
Speculation has been rife that Hasni would discuss the state election.
When contacted, Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin confirmed that Johor Umno will meet today.
He, however, did not divulge further on the agenda of the special meeting, which is going to be attended by the division chiefs at the state party headquarters.
“The meeting agenda is normally on the table, so (I) don’t know,” he said in a brief text message.
When asked about the possibility of the state polls to be held either in the middle or at the end of next month, Khaled said they will only know after the special meeting today.
Rumours of impending state election continue to increase following the death of Kempas assemblyperson Osman Sapian recently which left the BN-led government with a slim one-seat majority in the Johor state assembly.
Currently, BN has 28 seats in the state assembly, comprising Umno (14 seats), MIC (two), Bersatu (11) and PAS (one), while Pakatan Harapan has 27 seats, namely DAP (14), PKR (seven) and Amanah (six).
On Jan 16, Khaled said the state election and general election needed to be held immediately as the current government was often “threatened” by the opposition and that the people needed a dominant BN for stability and peace.
If the Johor election is held, it will mark the fourth state election during the Covid-19 pandemic and after the 2018 general election.
Traditionally, state elections are held together simultaneously with parliamentary elections, except in the case of Sarawak.
However, BN has found that holding state elections can now be their advantage. The party returned to power following the Sabah election in 2020 and made a huge comeback during the Malacca election last year.