All decked in blue: Barisan flags line a road in Sungai Buloh for the upcoming general election.
KUALA LUMPUR: The dates on which Parliament will be dissolved are now almost certain. Dissolution will happen on March 28, 29 or 30, looking at the way the cards are falling. The guessing game is as good as over.
The report on the new electoral boundaries is expected to be given to all Members of Parliament by next week, and may be tabled as early as Monday.
A simple majority of 111 votes – with the number of lawmakers currently at 220 – is needed to have the proposal passed.
Of the 222 MPs, Jelebu MP Datuk Zainudin Ismail and Paya Besar MP Datuk Abdul Manan Ismail have passed away. Zainudin died in December while Abdul Manan died last month.
The fact that the motion need not go through the Dewan Negara – which shortens the time to enforce the redelineation – is also another reason why political pundits are targeting the end of March.
The redelineation of parliamentary and state constituencies will be enforced immediately once it receives royal assent and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s signature.
To give a clear picture – and a hint of when the polls are likely to take place – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi spoke on the sequence of events leading up to the dissolution.
He informed top editors on Tuesday that once lawmakers have concluded debate on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address, ministers would take their turns to wind up.
“After this, Bills will be tabled. Then, we will table the motion on the proposed redelineation. After it has been debated and passed, it will be gazetted upon receiving royal assent,” he said.
What follows this would be the dissolution of Parliament. The Election Commission will then set the dates for nomination and polling, explained Dr Ahmad Zahid.
Sources say that Standing Order 15 (1), which states that government business should have precedence over other matters, can be used to expedite the process.
“The Government can decide to cut short the ministerial winding-up to only two days instead of the scheduled four days,” said a source.
“There is also the Supplementary Supply Bill that needs to be tabled and debated next week.
“The Government can decide to just table the motion on the redelineation first and then set aside the following week for debates.”
The passing of the redelineation will clear the way for the dissolution, with the expected dates to be between March 28 and 30.
Political observers are also looking at end March for Parliament to be dissolved, with April 7 as the date for Barisan Nasional to unveil its manifesto as a “giveaway”.