VETERAN lawmaker Lim Kit Siang has raised a question if Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin is the only UMNO minister or leader who dares to disagree with Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that it is wrong to hold the 15th general election (GE15) during the monsoon season.
“Is Khairy the lone voice among UMNO ministers who dare to disagree with the party president?” he lamented.
Yesterday (Sept 21) Khairy, who is Health Minister, said it is not conducive to hold GE15 during the flood season as many factors need to be considered.
In addition to health considerations, the Health Ministry (MOH) is of the view that many factors – including manpower and public safety – must be taken into account.
Khairy said first is the issue of manpower as quite a lot would be needed for the election while many hands would be required as well during the monsoon season to handle temporary evacuation centres (PPS), to take care of people’s safety, and for evacuations.
“Secondly, many schools are used as PPS, and schools are also used as voting centres,” he said during the ‘A Year as Health Minister’ interview at MOH.
From a health point of view, Khairy said due to the weather conditions then, there will be an increase in water-borne diseases as well as other illnesses such as fever, flu and so on.
“So, the MOH’s view is it is not conducive to hold an election during this flood season,” he said when asked to comment on the matter.
Earlier Lim also called on Zahid to withdraw his statement that UMNO leaders were prepared to “wade through floods” if GE15 is held during the monsoon season to prove that UMNO is still a responsible and people-oriented party.
He said that the first four UMNO presidents – Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak Hussein and Tun Hussein Onn – would never have said such a thing and regard the loss of 55 lives and RM6.5 bil losses of property as irrelevant.
“This goes on to show how different UMNO is today under Zahid from the UMNO during its founding years,” Lim bemoaned.
The Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has forecast that the country would experience continuous heavy rain from mid-November, leading to major floods at the end of the month.
MetMalaysia expects the weather impact to be more significant given that Northeast Monsoon was prevalent during that period, and as such the risk of continuous heavy rain and large-scale flooding was high. – Sept 22, 2022