Don: Snap election will not mend fractures in national political leadership

Professor Dr Jayum Jawan

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Jan 6: A snap general election will not ease the current political instability in the country, asserts Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) don and political scientist Prof Dr Jayum Jawan.

The reason for this, he said, was the lack of a prominent political party that could lead a strong coalition to form a stable federal government.

“A snap general election or even waiting for the full term won’t answer the current political uncertainty in the country. There is no guarantee that even if a general election is held now, that a party or a coalition will win enough (for a) simple majority to maintain a stable leadership.

“So, holding a snap election won’t resolve major issues because I don’t expect that any party or a coalition of parties be able to haul enough majority to provide a stable leadership.

“This is because voters have changed. So, politicians and political parties need to adjust their behaviours in tune with the voters,” Jayum told DayakDaily today.

Jayum who is currently the Tan Sri Empiang Jabu Research Chair on Dayak Women Studies at the university since Nov 2019 pointed out that the current instability in the country was expected after the 2018 general election when there was no single party or formal coalition with the majority to form a solid government.

“For as long as this situation persisted, political instability marked by attempts by one or another party trying to establish an edge over the other and to grab power will continue to be there,” he said.

On a related issue, Jayum who is a former Tun Abdul Razak chair at the Centre for International Studies and Visiting Professor of Political Science, Dept of Political Science, Ohio University, USA, said even though the country is still facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission must come up with new innovative ways to hold the general election.

“The timing is unfortunate but the Election Commission (EC) must come out with new innovative ways to address the issue in order to keep voters safe when elections need to be held, especially (since) that Sarawak will hold its elections between now and June 2021 when the assembly will automatically dissolved,” he said.

Jayum was commenting on current ties between United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) which has reached breaking point, with leaders from Umno openly training their guns on Perikatan Nasional (PN) over the weekend.

Several prominent Umno leaders have called on their party to withdraw its support for the government, including Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who has told the party’s MPs to step down from their posts in government and government agencies by the end of this month, in a bid to push for a general election to be held as soon as possible.

It was also reported that Umno secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Maslan had said, any decision over Umno MPs quitting the PN government before February would be finalised during the party’s supreme council meeting scheduled tonight. — DayakDaily