WHEN will be the right time for the 15th General Election (GE15)?
Well, if this were up to certain parties (read: Umno), the right answer would be ‘as soon as possible’ as the political party has explicitly indicated in the past few months its desire for a snap election to be held in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had raised this question back in January, even to the point of asking why Malaysia was the only country afraid of holding a general election during a pandemic when over 30 nations elsewhere have done so.
The Malay nationalist party under the leadership of Zahid has been gearing up for the upcoming election for quite some time now, with various discussions going on in the past few weeks.
This had culminated during the recent Umno general assembly, when the party president had announced that his party will no longer work with Bersatu come GE15. The reason for this move was simple: to force an election.
More specifically, Zahid had thought that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will have to call for an election the moment Umno makes the official announcement to quit the PN Government.
In fact, Zahid had even gone as far as to deliver an ultimatum of sorts to Muhyiddin: that the election must not be held later than this August.
But here’s the question to those who are targeting an August date for GE15: haven’t you learned your lesson after what happened during the Sabah state polls back in September 2020? An election would mean voters across the country coming out full force to cast their ballots, and this is a COVID-19 nightmare waiting to happen.
Of course, one might argue that the COVID-19 vaccines are available now, and GE15 could be held with strict SOPs in place. But how many of the country’s population would have been vaccinated by August, or before GE15, whenever that may be?
Moreover, vaccination doesn’t 100% prevent you from getting infected, and reports have indicated that you can still pass the virus to others even if you are fully vaccinated.
At the end of the day, calling for the general election should not be about who’s going to be in power, or who is going to occupy the country’s top post. There are many other factors to be considered, including the rakyat’s physical health and wellbeing, and that is by far the Government’s most important priority moving forward. – April 7, 2021