Loke: Dissolving Parliament this Deepavali month disrespects Indians

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Selection of GE date should consider the sensitivities of all races.

Dissolving Parliament this month to pave the way for the 15th General Election (GE15) is disrespectful to Indians as Deepavali is just round the corner, said DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

“If Parliament is dissolved this month, this disrespects the Indian community who will be celebrating Deepavali. Do you want to dissolve Parliament before Deepavali?” he told a press conference after attending the Perak DAP Annual Convention at a hotel in Ipoh.

The Seremban member of parliament said the selection of a GE date should consider the sensitivities of all races.

“For example, in Sabah and Sarawak, they will not hold state elections during the Gawai festival. This has never happened.

“So, if you want to dissolve Parliament this month, the Deepavali festival is almost here. January is the Chinese New Year celebration, and April is a holiday.

“December is Christmas, but December is usually (not a good time for an election),” he said.

He said Parliament should be dissolved simultaneously with the state assemblies to save election costs.

“If Parliament is dissolved towards the end of its term, then the state assemblies should be dissolved too…except for Johor, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak.

“So, the nine state assemblies need to be dissolved simultaneously and elections must be held for all those states,” said Loke.

He was asked by reporters about rising election expenses if elections for parliament and state legislatures are held separately.

Loke said the best way to save election costs was to wait until the end of state assemblies and parliamentary term.

“We have said this before. Why do we want to wait until the end of the term? Because it is now the monsoon season. There are only a few months left (before the Parliament term ends),” he said. – NST