Asfia: Leaders’ choice of polls date determine results
Tarikh : 18 Aug 2022  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online

Asfia fields questions from reporters. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (Aug 18): It is crucial for leaders to pick the right date to hold elections as it can determine the results, said Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nassar.

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker said when it comes to winning an election, it’s not dependent on the number of voters per se.

“What’s important is also the dates to hold elections; when Parliament or DUN should be dissolved. Why do leaders decide on these dates?

“They determine the leadership (quality) of a person, something which is not written in books,” he said at the state-level Parliamentary and DUN Tour Series: Key Findings of Malaysia Census 2020 and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 2021 here today.

Citing some examples, he said former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had in 2008, advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament three years before the parliamentary term expired.

“Why do you dissolve parliament three years before its expiry?

“This had caused the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates to fall like autumn leaves,” he said, noting that it was premature to hold an election so soon then.

He also said that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had chosen the wrong date to dissolve Parliament in 2018, which led to the downfall of the ruling government then.

When met by reporters later, Asfia said there were many opinions from parties on when an election should be held.

“But we will only know whether the decision was right or not when we look back and review.

“It is then we will realise that perhaps the election should be held this month and not in that month,” he said.

When asked what factors should be taken into account to select the right date for polling, he said what was important was the decision made by the leader.

“I do not have an answer for this but as I’ve mentioned, there were many mistakes made by our past leaders and there must be a reason why the decision was made to dissolve the Parliament early for instance.

“It is not just about how many voters are in a constituency, how many voters have increased…what matters is what the leaders say, our prime minister, when did he advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament or in Sarawak, when did our Premier advise the Yang di-Pertua Negeri to dissolve DUN,” said Asfia.