KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will announce the dissolution of Parliament at 11.30am on Friday (April 6), paving the way for a general election, local media has reported.
Najib will make the announcement via state broadcaster RTM, state-linked Berita Harian reported, without citing the source of the information.
The Star newspaper also reported the same.
Najib arrived at his office earlier on Friday to chair a meeting of Cabinet ministers, state news agency Bernama reported.
Najib’s five-year term officially ends on June 24, but the prime minister can dissolve Parliament any time before the end of his term with the king’s assent and call an election.
The Star said Najib had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong earlier on Friday morning.
In his live address on TV1, the Prime Minister is expected to present his case on why Barisan Nasional should be returned to Putrajaya, The Star quoted sources as saying.
Najib is under pressure to secure a stronger mandate as he grapples with a multibillion-dollar scandal at a state fund and public anger over rising living costs.
Parliament, which on Thursday ended its last meeting before the polls, approved a plan to redraw electoral boundaries backed by Najib's administration, an exercise that critics said would shift anti-establishment voters out of ruling party areas and into opposition-held seats.
Parliament also passed a controversial Anti-Fake News 2018 Bill, which would allow prison terms of up to six years for spreading "fake news" - an expression frequently used by United States President Donald Trump.