KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — Barisan Nasional was not seeking an early general election to protect its leaders but to “save” Malaysians from being manipulated by the coalition’s rivals, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
He insisted Umno’s increasingly persistent demand for the general election to be held how was wholly unrelated to the criminal cases against BN leaders, which coincidentally included him.
The former deputy minister, who is facing two separate corruption trials, asserted that the push for the 15th general election was rather due to political rivals forming narratives to diminish BN leaders, ostensibly out of desperation.
“The rakyat must be saved from being confused by them again, because the outcome would be terrible for the country’s future,” he said on Facebook today.
While he did not name these rivals, his reference to the 2018 general election indicated that he meant Pakatan Harapan.
Ahmad Zahid said the country has faced failure after failure since the May 9, 2018 general election and that this must be prevented from happening again for the country’s sake.
The PH government collapsed due to defections in February 2020 and was replaced by the Perikatan Nasional government, which was then ousted last year by BN.
Today, Ahmad Zahid insisted the GE15 was not solely in the interest of BN but that of all Malaysians.
“This isn’t just rhetoric, but is the most effective and constitutional path to restoring the country and its way of life,” he asserted.
Ahmad Zahid’s Umno has repeatedly urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to call for an early general election, but amplified this when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was sent to prison last month after losing his final appeal against his SRC International conviction.
Since then, the former prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, has also been convicted in her own corruption trial over a RM1.25 billion solar power project for Sarawak schools, and sentence to 10 years’ imprisonment and a RM970 million fine — the highest in the history of the country.
The juxtaposition has allowed critics to suggest that Umno’s growing desire for a general election now, before one is due next September, was to prevent more of its so-called “court cluster” from being convicted.