UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has come under fire from opposition leaders over his push for the 15th General Elections (GE15) to be held during the monsoon season.
Yesterday (Sept 17), Zahid was reported as saying that Barisan Nasional (BN) was ready to wade through the floods to campaign for GE15 if the national polls are held during the monsoon season, which is expected to start in November.
He said this on the back of criticism from Pakatan Harapan over holding the national polls when floods and heavy rain are expected, and last December’s disastrous floods.
Taking to Twitter, DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago remarked: “What a selfish man.”
The Klang MP urged Zahid to organise an UMNO flood brigade to help people fleeing their houses because of floods – just like ordinary folks have been doing so far – instead of asking the people to vote.
He also questioned how someone who can “shamelessly” make such a remark be trusted to lead the country.
Santiago added: “Why is an election important even in the midst of floods and human suffering if not to ensure Zahid doesn’t get convicted and instead gets his charges dropped if UMNO wins?”
If UMNO folks go along with Zahid’s plan, he carried on, they should be deeply ashamed of themselves, and if they have an ounce of decency, they should find themselves another leader.
“To the rakyat: vote Zahid and his UMNO buddies out in the next general elections.
“They don’t care about your welfare or your lives – not even during floods, as Zahid has clearly demonstrated.”
“Willing to kill”
Similarly, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman slammed Zahid over his statement, saying the Bagan Datuk MP was “willing to kill people to stay in power” by forcing them to face the floods.
Syed Saddiq also pointed out that 50 people died, 500,000 were affected and an estimated RM10 bil worth of property was destroyed during last December’s floods.
“Imagine this year: floods and an election?!,” he said, adding: “Minister focuses on votes, the rakyat dies. Crazy work!”
Echoing him, MUDA secretary-general Amira Aisya Abd Aziz questioned why the floods were being turned into political propaganda despite it causing intense hardship to the people and even loss of life.
Zahid has been harping for GE15 to be held soon as any further delays will give “ammunition” to the enemy to continue “attacking them”, leading to them losing in the polls.
“That is why no one from the opposition has asked for Parliament to be dissolved – even though in the past (they would) belittle the current Government (by saying) that it doesn’t have the rakyat’s mandate, it’s a backdoor Government and so on,” he claimed in a Facebook post last month.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who has been under intense pressure from Zahid and UMNO leaders aligned with him to dissolve Parliament, has since said that GE15 will be held soon. – Sept 18, 2022
Main photo credit: The Star