Malaysia’s Muda to protest calls for GE15 this year, wants govt to address floods response plan

Malaysia’s youth-based political party, Muda, is demanding the government get off its high ground over rumours that it wants to have an election during the monsoon season.

Muda said it will be holding a protest over the weekend to pressure the government to hold off the 15th general election until next year amid concerns of another flooding at the end of the year, MalaysiaKini reported.

Muda central executive committee member Nurainie Haziqah Shafii said the ‘Lives First Before Elections’ protest is scheduled to take place outside of the Sogo shopping complex in Kuala Lumpur.

This comes after Umno’s president Ahmad Zahidi remarked that BN will be prepared to face the floods if an election is called soon.

“The remark was made even though Zahid and other BN leaders have full knowledge that floods will usually occur at the end of the year.

“We are reminded of the massive floods that happened last November, December until January this year, where to date there have been no proper mitigation plans announced,” Norainie said during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

“We, Muda, wish to clearly demand that no general election will be called this year.

“Such statements (by Zahid) do not in any way reflect the empathy of ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ as espoused by the prime minister,” she stressed.

Additionally, Nurainie urged Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to reveal a national flood response strategy that involves the mobilisation of government resources and manpower.

Afiqah Zulkifli, a member of the Muda central executive committee, said the government should release any findings of post-mortem investigations undertaken to detect flaws in current flood response protocols in light of the significant floods last year.

“The findings should not be kept exclusively within government meeting rooms, and instead should be shared with opposition MPs, NGOs and the public,” she added.

The public has a right to know the government’s short-, mid-, and long-term responses on a  topic of national concern, according to Lim Wei Jiet, vice president of Muda.

“The right to information is crucial because only with information can the public and parliamentarians scrutinise the (flood response) plan for areas of improvement, and only then will there be accountability,” he added.

Previously, Ismail Sabri said he would discuss a suitable election date with the Umno top five leaders soon, where they would “deliberate on all issues” related to holding GE15, including the weather.

Last December, a tropical depression made landfall on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, bringing torrential downpours throughout the peninsula for three days.

The resulting floods affected eight states across the peninsula, and left at least 54 dead and 2 missing. The floods also caused the displacement of more than 71,000 residents, and have affected over 125,000 people overall.