KUALA LUMPUR: United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there should be no issue if a general election is held during the upcoming monsoon season, as it has been done before.
He accused the opposition of highlighting this in a bid to influence voters into thinking that holding the polls at this time is tantamount to exposing them to the risk of floods.
In a statement on Monday (Sep 19), Ahmad Zahid, who is also the chairman of the Barisan Nasional (BN) wrote: “The opposition forgot that their last former PM Mahathir himself held a general election in November 1999 and it was not a big issue.”
Back in 1999, the budget for 2000 was presented to the Lower House on Oct 29 by then finance minister Daim Zainuddin. But the parliament was soon dissolved on Nov 10.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), has said that the monsoon season in the country normally starts from September until the end of the year.
On Monday, Ahmad Zahid argued that the opposition’s actual concern is not with the floods, but with its fear of losing the election.
He said the opposition was worried that it would lose owing to its failure to deliver on its previous election’s promises.
“This is why they need time to incite the people not to vote for BN,” said Ahmad Zahid, adding that BN will not give them this opportunity.
During the launch of the BN Youth election machinery last Saturday, Ahmad Zahid, who has been pushing for early polls, said the coalition was willing to wade through flood waters to campaign for the 15th General Election (GE15) if it was held during the monsoon season.
His statement drew flak from the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders, who were concerned that holding the election near the end of the year may risk voters getting caught in floods.