Khairy: Malaysia must consider 3 factors before calling general election

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Malaysia has to consider three main factors before calling a general election, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said, while noting the timing is entirely the prerogative of the prime minister.

The three factors are the country’s readiness in terms of public health, the momentum of the economic recovery and political consideration, he said.

Khairy, who is in Singapore for four days since May 31 as Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow, told reporters this when asked about Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement yesterday that he “will not delay, even for a second”, the dissolution of Parliament “once BN (Barisan Nasional) is fully prepared”.

“We have to look out for new (Covid-19) variants…to know the waves of infection. Right now, it is okay, but I need to be confident that this can be sustained,” Khairy said on the public health factor.

On economic recovery, he said Malaysia is lucky in the sense that it is a producing country, although it is currently facing some inflationary pressure.

“We have palm oil…we have some engines of growth that are pushing the economy forward. So, we want to get economic momentum there,” he said.

On political consideration, the Rembau MP said BN itself should be ready to face the general election.

“We need to make sure that BN is ready. It is not just the country is ready, there has to be a conducive environment for elections,” he said, adding that in a nutshell, the nation has to look at the entire context of recovery in preparing for an election.

On the timing of the general election, Khairy reiterated that a recovery in both economy and health is important.

“There has to be momentum. We are just starting to see the beginning of recovery.

“And secondly, is there any real big urgency to have the election?

“I don’t think so. Of course, many people say political stability. Decisive victory. Yes, but, what’s the difference between this year and next year?”

Khairy also sent a strong message to those people who have been saying “let us have an election now”.

“I don’t think those wanting the elections are the ones who are thinking about preparing the election machinery and resources…with the right people…with the right slate of candidates to contest in the general election,” he said.

“It is not state elections. This is a general election. This is serious, and I think PM (prime minister) is well aware that we need time to ready ourselves for both the country and the party.

“My message to the people, also our party leaders, who say we should have an election now is: ‘We respect your views, but stay in your lane. Calling an election is the prime minister’s lane; you’re not in that lane.”