Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak may dissolve the Parliament by the end of March, a week after the government tables the report on the new electoral boundaries, according to The Star.
"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," wrote Wong Chun Wai, managing director and CEO of Star Media Group.
The Election Commission's final report on the redrawing of electoral boundaries is expected to be given to lawmakers by next Monday, March 19.
As reiterated by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Tuesday, only a simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat is needed to pass the motion on the new electoral boundaries, without having to go through the Dewan Negara.
The redelineation of parliamentary and state constituencies will then come into force once the motion receives assent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
This shows that Najib may dissolve Parliament early, said the report, despite being scheduled to sit until April 5.
The Star also quoted sources as saying that parliamentary Standing Order 15(1), which states that government business should take precedence over other matters, can be used to expedite the tabling of the motion on redelineation.
“The government can decide to cut short the ministerial winding-up to only two days instead of the scheduled four days.
“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 report read.
On Monday, both Berita Harian and New Straits Times also pointed to Parliament being dissolved in late March or early April.
The next general election is expected to be held from the end of April to early May, before the month of Ramadan commences in mid-May.
Critics have panned the motion on the redrawing of electoral boundaries being rushed through Parliament, as some have yet to have their objections heard.
Preponed cabinet meeting
A report in Singapore’s Straits Times quoted sources making the same prediction.
"Dissolution as early as March 29 or 30. Polling end of April or beginning May," it reported a source as saying today.
Potential balloting dates being mentioned are the weekends of April 28, May 5 and May 12, reported the daily.
It cited another source saying that the cabinet met yesterday instead of the usual Friday when Parliament is sitting, so Najib could brief BN leaders on his plans.
It also reported the development would scuttle the government’s fake news bill, which the relevant committee was reported to be "having trouble drafting a bill that is legally sound", according to a source.
Another indicator of the upcoming polls, said Straits Times, is the unveiling of BN's election manifesto, set for April 7.
“In past elections, BN had revealed its pledges only after the dissolution of Parliament, and the country had gone to the polls within four weeks of the ruling coalition launching its manifesto,” wrote the daily.