The top five leaders of Malaysia's ruling United Malays National Organisation party will meet in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss the timing of the next general election (GE15), just before the monthly meeting of the party's Supreme Council scheduled for 8pm local time.
- The top five includes UMNO President Zahid, Deputy President Mohamad and Vice-Presidents Khaled, Mahdzir and Ismail Sabri. While the decision to dissolve parliament rests with the Prime Minister (who issues relevant advice to the monarch), Ismail Sabri said he would respect the will of his colleagues from UMNO's top brass. He is seen as the only potential opponent of a snap poll among the five leaders.
- All five leaders have been tight-lipped about the agenda of today's meeting, but it is widely known that certain factions within UMNO are trying to pressure the Prime Minister into calling a snap election. The Star reported that many of those who accompanied Ismail Sabri during his trip to the UNGA in New York were supporters of a snap poll, with UMNO sources noting that the leaders were coming to an agreement on the matter.
- The opposition and UMNO's coalition partners have spoken against calling a snap election during the imminent monsoon season, which typically sees devastating floods. Yet, the ruling party wants to use the window of opportunity created by its victories in Melaka and Johor state elections, Zahid's recent acquittal of some corruption charges and fiscal announcements to be made in Budget 2023 on October 7 to boost their electoral performance.
- The Dewan Rakyat will sit on Monday for a prolonged 32-day meeting, which may be cut short if Ismail Sabri decides to call a snap election. The formal announcement could come after the federal budget is delivered next Friday, albeit there is a risk the government will try to push several more legislative proposals.