PETALING JAYA: The 15th General Election (GE15) should be held now if the Opposition is afraid of having it during year-end floods, says Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).
He said the “concerns” of Barisan Nasional’s rivals about the floods were not a “new excuse” but instead a bid to save their political careers.
“It is time for them to ‘walk the talk’ and ‘press the button’ so the Election Commission can set a date for GE15 to be held,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.
He said the previous excuses used by Barisan’s opponents included the Covid-19 pandemic and the memorandum of understanding signed between both sides of the political divide.
In his statement made on Saturday that Barisan was ready to brave the floods for GE15, Ahmad Zahid said his remarks were taken out of context by Barisan’s opponents.
He explained that his comments were meant to convey to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that the Barisan machinery was ready for GE15, regardless of the situation.
“Despite this, it has been manipulated by other parties, saying that we do not care for the safety of the people,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid took a jab at the past administrations of Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional, saying they had disregarded the people’s safety.
“When the people asked for inbound travellers from Covid-19 hit countries to be banned from entering Malaysia, the 22-month administration (Pakatan) played down those calls.
“As a result, the first local Covid-19 case was reported in January 2020, involving several Chinese citizens who entered Malaysia through Johor,” he said.
He said the Perikatan government, during its 17-month administration, ignored calls for a total lockdown when Covid-19 infections spiked last year.
“Instead, what we got was the longest ‘half-baked’ lockdown globally that destroyed the economy and turned everyone’s lives upside down.”
He said that calls for GE15 had long been made.
“We demand for the mandate to be given back to the people, so they can vote in a government that is strong and united in tackling the country’s future post-pandemic,” he said.