KUALA LUMPUR – February 27, 2020: There appears to be consensus that the best way out of the country’s current political impasse is to hold fresh elections.
The country has been through a crisis since the beginning of the week when Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad resigned as prime minister apparently following disagreements within his Pribumi Bersatu party. Pribumi also quit the Pakatan Harapan coalition, leading to its collapse.
Currently Mahathir is administering the country as interim prime minister.
“The rakyat should be given the choice to choose their government because whatever the form of a new administration, it is still considered a backdoor government which is very different from the people’s choice in the last general elections,” said Associate Professor Dr. Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
Azmi nonetheless cautioned against a snap election as he believes the focus should for now be the well being of the nation.
“We need a government or whatever it is called now to stabilise the nation first,” he said.
His opinion was echoed by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar who believes that a fresh election is the democratic way to let the people decide who should form the government.
“We’re a democratic country and now that PH has lost its majority, the best thing to do is to go back to the people and let them decide,” said Chandra.
However, he expressed concern that even if an election is held, there is still the possibility of not having a clear winner.
“There will most likely be a hung parliament even after the election. If we look at the electoral situation, even the combination of Umno and PAS doesn’t have a simple majority.
“They may be able to secure more seats than before but they will likely still lose out on the votes of non-Malays and those in Sabah and Sarawak.
Dr. Jeniri Amir of University Malaysia Sarawak concurs that the best way forward is to hold fresh elections.
“Back in the previous general electiosn, the people had spoken and the government was formed but today the country is divided, so the best way forward is to fall back to practicing democracy.
“If the government is formed through the backdoor method, there is no guarantee that there will not be no another crisis after that.
“Therefore, we have to follow the true principle of democracy, so that there won’t be any regret in the future. This highly important national matter should be resolved quickly and smoothly,” said Jeniri.