Two important meetings lined-up as talk of impending GE hots up

KUALA LUMPUR: As talk of an impending general election (GE) gathers momentum, two important political meetings have been lined up.

The Umno supreme council will meet Thursday (Aug 4) night at its party headquarters in World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur.

The Barisan Nasional supreme council is also scheduled to meet next month, but a date has yet to be fixed.

Top Barisan component leaders have already stepped up their election machinery over the last month.

Last week, the Selangor BN convention was held where Finance Minister Datuk Tengku Zafrul Aziz was named as the state Umno treasurer.

He is also speculated to contest the Kuala Selangor parliamentary seat.

Sources said while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has remained coy over the GE, the momentum has already been felt.

“Let’s just say the drum beat is finally heard after months of speculation and debate over whether it should be this year or next year,” said a senior Umno leader.

Ismail will have the final say over when the GE will be called, but it is reliably learnt that Umno leaders have convinced him of the need to have the polls by this year.

The focus will be on Tengku Zafrul, who is scheduled to table his Budget on the last week of October.

But political analysts said the Budget could be tabled earlier as long as the Dewan Rakyat Speaker was notified appropriately.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has already started a nationwide tour to meet the various Barisan leaders.

“The window period to call for GE is tight as the raining season starts in November and December.

“If it doesn’t happen, the next option is after Chinese New Year in January, but this is just a guessing game of politicians and the media.

“As far as Umno is concerned, we are preparing with year end in mind,” said an Umno strategist.

It is expected that nomination day will be a month after Parliament is dissolved.