UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said that there is no excuse for Malaysians to not go out to vote as there had never been any riots in the 14 times when the general election was held.
According to an Astro Awani news report, the incumbent Pontian MP had predicted a voter turnout of about 75% in the 15th General Election (GE15).
“This figure is good enough to reflect an effective democratic process by a higher number of voters as compared to the 14th General Election (GE14) in 2018,” the news portal quoted him as saying.
In an earlier interview with Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh, it was reported that as at Aug 16, 21.1 million registered voters were gazette based on the July verified rolls – a sharp increase from the 14.9 million registered voters in 2018.
“Yet, many [voters] are indifferent. They are the type that don’t care what’s going on around them, possibly because they are lazy to take part in the democratic process,” Ahmad lamented.
According to Ahmad, there is nothing stopping the rakyat from exercising their right to vote especially in a country that is as peaceful as Malaysia, adding that even rainy conditions should not stop people from carrying out their responsibilities as citizens.
“It’s not as if there are riots…in fact there hasn’t been any riots in the past 14 times that the general elections were held,” he remarked.
“If it rains, just bring an umbrella. In my opinion, people should just go out to vote.”
UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi previously told critics that there should be no issue with calling a general election during monsoon season as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had done it in 1999.
Zahid 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 had forgotten that…Dr Mahathir had called for an election in November 1999 but that did not become a big issue,” he said in a Facebook post last month.
According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), the monsoon season normally starts from September and lasts until the end of the year. – Oct 19, 2022
Main photo credit: Bernama