PETALING JAYA: There should be no issue with calling a general election during monsoon season as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did it in 1999, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi tells critics.
The Umno president said the Opposition is trying to incite the rakyat by saying that holding snap polls towards the end of the year will expose them to the risk of floods.
"They have forgotten that... Dr Mahathir had called for an election in November 1999, but that did not become a big issue," Ahmad Zahid said in a Facebook post on Monday (Sept 19).
According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), the monsoon season normally starts from September until the end of the year.
Budget 2000 was presented in the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 29, 1999 by then finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, but Parliament was dissolved on Nov 10 before it could be passed.
Opposition MPs have raised concerns that holding a general election near the end of the year may risk voters being caught in floods, especially on the east coast.
Ahmad Zahid said such statements only showed the Opposition was worried about losing the general election owing to its failure to deliver on its previous polls manifesto.
"That is why they want more time to influence the rakyat to vote against Barisan Nasional.
"The Jelajah Pakatan Harapan programme is still ongoing and is expected to end only in February.
"Barisan will not give any opportunity to extend the political life of Pakatan by giving them an advantage to complete their Jelajah (programme) to destroy the image of Barisan," said Ahmad Zahid, who is also Barisan chairman.