Report: GE15 would have been called in Oct if not for Covid-19 pandemic, says Azmin

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
·2-min read
Election poster featuring Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin are seen in Keningau, Sabah September 24, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Election poster featuring Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin are seen in Keningau, Sabah September 24, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — The General election would have been held nationwide last month for Perikatan Nasional (PN) to try and win the people’s mandate if not for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali has revealed.

The senior minister, in an interview with English daily The Star, conceded that despite PN having a majority when it formed the government in March, the coalition only held on to a slim majority.

However, as much as the administration wishes to seek the mandate of the people, the public health hazards brought on by the pandemic forced a change of plans, he said.

“When the majority is small, the government is weak. When the government is weak (or) not stable, then we do not have the opportunity to focus on the delivery for the rakyat.

“If you ask me, of course, we are ready to go back to the rakyat to get the mandate. If you ask me when we should have gotten the mandate, I would say it should have been last month but unfortunately, we are facing the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The word ‘election’ is so toxic. Society cannot accept that, for they only want the government to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 and help retain jobs and make sure there is food on the table,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

The international trade and industry minister then asserted that PN would push for a nationwide poll once the pandemic is over, but pointed out that the Health Ministry would be the one to decide if conditions allow for an election to be held.

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