Dissolving Parliament this month disrespectful to Indian community: Loke
Keep other ethnic groups in mind when deciding on GE15 date, DAP sec-gen says
KUALA LUMPUR – The government will be disrespecting the Indian community if it proceeds to dissolve Parliament as rumoured this month, said DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
This is considering the Deepavali festival falls on October 24, he told a live-streamed press conference from Perak today.
For that matter, there are several important festival dates between now and when Parliament completes its full term in the middle of next year, he added.
Out of respect for the various communities in multiracial Malaysia, he said the best time to hold the 15th election would be to wait until the end of the current Parliament term.
“If you dissolve (Parliament) this month, you are disrespectful of the Indian community. Are you going to dissolve before Deepavali?” he told reporters after attending the Perak DAP convention today.
“When picking the dates, there must be sensitivity towards the other races and festivals. You can’t expect to conduct the Sarawak state election during the Gawai festival. It has never happened.
“If you dissolve Parliament this month, there’s Deepavali (on October 24). In January, you have Chinese New Year, and in April, there’s Hari Raya. Obviously, we have Christmas in December, but that never happens,” he said.
Loke said apart from festival periods and possible year-end monsoon flooding, the cost of conducting federal and state elections separately should also be taken into account.
Pakatan Harapan has previously indicated that states held by the coalition will not rush to dissolve their respective assemblies in the event the general election is held earlier.
Loke said if the government is concerned about the cost of conducting elections, it would only be right for Parliament to see out its current term.
“If it allows the Parliament to run down its term, then it can be dissolved together with the other states.
He was asked to comment on Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s claim last week that it would cost more to conduct the general election on a different date from state elections.
“There’s no need to ask or negotiate, as all state assemblies will also need to be dissolved (by the middle of next year), other than Melaka, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak,” he said, in reference to the four states which recently conducted their respective state elections.
“For me, the easiest way is to wait until the term ends. Our argument is simple, now is monsoon season, and there are only a few months left before Parliament must be dissolved anyway,” he added.
– The Vibes, October 2, 2022