KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the 15th general election (GE15) should be held immediately if the Opposition is worried about the polls coinciding with year-end floods.
Ahmad Zahid said the concerns expressed by Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rivals were just the latest in a litany of excuses designed to mask their real fear of being rejected by voters at the ballot box.
Thus, he said the “concerns” of BN’s rivals about the floods were not a “new excuse” but instead a bid to save their political careers.
“It is time for them to ‘walk the talk’ and ‘hit the button’ so the Election Commission can set a date for GE15 to be held,” he said in a Facebook post.
In the same post, Ahmad Zahid said his remarks during the launch of the BN Youth machinery in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday on the coalition being ready to brave the floods for GE15 had been taken out of context by political opponents.
Explaining further, Ahmad Zahid said his comments were meant to convey to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that the BN machinery was ready for GE15, regardless of the situation and challenges.
“Despite this, it has been manipulated by other parties, saying that we do not care for the safety of the people,” he said, before criticising both the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) administrations for showing a greater disregard for people’s safety.
“When the people asked for inbound travellers from Covid-19 hit countries to be banned from entering Malaysia, the 22-month administration (Pakatan) played down those calls.
“As a result, the first local Covid-19 case was reported in January 2020, involving several Chinese citizens who entered Malaysia through Johor,” he said.
He then said the PN government, during its 17-month administration, ignored calls for a total lockdown when Covid-19 infections spiked last year.
“Instead, what we got was the longest ‘half-baked’ lockdown globally that destroyed the economy and turned everyone’s lives upside down,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid then noted that the call for a general election to be held had long been made after the country achieved herd immunity.
“We demand for the mandate to be given back to the people, so they can vote in a government that is strong and united in tackling the country’s future post-pandemic,” he said.