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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Will Sabah Dissolve Its Assembly For 14GE?

Will Sabah dissolve its state legislative assembly early next year to pave the way for a state election or is the 14th general election (GE14) expected to be called early next year?

These questions emerged following a recent notice issued by Tawau District Education Office which lined up four briefing sessions on election matters between Feb 20 and March 16 next year.

The notice stated that the briefings were meant to inform the relevant schools of their roles during elections.

The four briefings are expected to be carried out on Feb 20, Feb 21-22, March 13-14 and March 15-16 at various specified locations.

If such preparation had nothing to do with the GE14, it could indicate that Sabah would be holding its state election not simultaneously with the general election for the first time since 2004. In Malaysia, any state may dissolve its assembly independently of the federal parliament.

The traditional practice is for most state assemblies to be dissolved at the same time as parliament, with the exception of Sabah and Sarawak.

The Sabah state elections were held simultaneously with the general elections in 2004, 2008 and 2013, but Sarawak held its state election in 2006, 2011 and 2016. The last general election was held on May 5, 2013. The Constitution of Malaysia requires that a general election must be held at least once every five years.

As such, the 13th Parliament of Malaysia will automatically dissolve on June 24, 2018 and the GE14 has to be called on or before Aug 24, 2018. However, the prime minister can ask the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament at any time before the five-year period is up. Moreover, a general election should be held no later than two months after the dissolution of Parliament.

During the annual Umno assembly earlier this month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said that the next general election was around the corner.

He also called upon Umno members to gear up for any uphill battle in the coming general election.

- The Borneo Post

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