KUCHING: Calling for elections while the country is battling the Covid-19 pandemic is inappropriate, said Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Faculty of Syariah and Law senior lecturer Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow.

He said doing so would have serious implications.

“The call for a snap or early general elections in the country should be seen as the last option due to serious implications it can bring to our country, our economy, and our people,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Due to the latest development and the ongoing political uncertainty in the country, Muzaffar said many had come up with theoretical solutions to put an end to the ongoing political turmoil, which included forming a minority government, forming a unity government, suspending Parliament, as well as dissolving Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly to allow for elections.

He pointed out that according to the Federal Constitution, a general election must be held at least once every five years.

“The Constitution of Malaysia has clearly stated this point under Article 55 (2), (3), and (4). Similar approach has been practised for each state. Any call for early election within states must obtain permission from their respective Rulers or Governors.

“Usually, state elections in the country, except for Sarawak, are held simultaneously with the parliamentary election but each state can decide when to hold its election,” he said.

Muzaffar cautioned that calling for early general elections could bring serious implications given the fact that Malaysians went to the polls in May 2018.

As such, he wondered why Malaysians had to go through another election so soon, just because politicians created the problems among themselves.

“Can elections solve every problem we have? Once the election is over, there is also no guarantee everybody will be satisfied, happy, and accept the election results.

“Having general elections along with the political campaign during this period is also seen as not suitable as all the focus should be given to deal with the spread of Covid-19 in the country and to improve our economy due to the impact of the infections,” he said.

Muzaffar said Malaysians should learn from the Sabah state election last month, which resulted in a sudden spike of Covid-19 cases in Sabah as well as across the country.

“Politicians need to set aside their egos and find a way to control the spike of Covid-19 cases in the country,” he added.