KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan had jokingly predicted that there could be a snap election next year if the transition of power between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim does not take place.
The Star reported that Mohamad, fondly known as Tok Mat, urged Tanjung Piai voters to send a strong message to the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
“We should not let Pakatan continue ruling for a full term because the people are suffering. By early next year, if Tun (Dr Mahathir) does not hand over the power to Anwar, the Parliament may be dissolved.
“Let us emulate the spirit of (previous by-elections) Cameron Highlands, Semenyih and Rantau, and work hard to win back Tanjung Piai.
“We must put our foot down because the country’s sliding economy is worrying,” he reportedly said on the campaign trail to over 200 villagers at Kampung Penerok in Kukup last night.
The Umno deputy spent two hours mingling with the villagers in support of the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng.
He later clarified to the press that he was only joking about the snap election.
“I just want to remind the Barisan machinery not to be complacent, but to be fully prepared if the 15th General Election is held early.
“Despite the Muafakat Nasional alliance, it is not going to be a sure win for us,” he said, adding that fielding an MCA candidate in the by-election showed that Barisan was “looking at the bigger picture” while rejecting racism.
Muafakat Nasional is the new alliance between PAS and Umno formalised in September under a Unity Charter between Malaysia’s biggest Malay-based parties.
He also voiced his confidence that the new alliance can take back 10 states in the 15th General Election.
“Based on the current political scenario, the new alliance will allow us to get back Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Perak and Kedah.
“Apart from these four states, we can also take back Johor and Selangor, provided there are no more fights among Barisan component parties.
“Unity brings peace, dispute causes harm. That’s why we must not fight among ourselves,” he was quoted saying.