JOHOR BAHRU, Jan 11 — UMNO is not putting pressure for the 15th General Election (GE15) be held soon, but when the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided to a low number of cases.

Its vice-president, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said that taking into account the welfare of the people in facing the pandemic and the floods currently hitting some states, these two issues were now the priority to be resolved compared to GE15.

He said that at the early stage, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had indicated holding GE15 fast after taking into account the gap between the government Members of Parliament and their counterparts in the Opposition as seen in the voting for the 2021 Budget.

“But wth the COVID-19 situation currently at a critical level, we (UMNO) ask that the next General Election he held when the infection cases have reached a low level and that we are not stressing that the elections be held now. Currently, Johor and Pahang and to a certain extent, Terengganu and Kelantan, are being hit by floods.

“Let’s talk rationally, it’s not because of politics that we say we want to hold the General Election (soon). The people are watching the behaviour of politicians. So, let’s look at the COVID-19 situation and at whatever disaster first, and we need to resolve issues faced by the people first, then only we go to the polls.”

He said this when met by reporters after visiting Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s Senibong Undersea Cable Main Sub-Station in Permas Jaya, here, yesterday. 

Mahdzir, who is also TNB chairman, was commenting on the views of several quarters that priority be given to efforts in controlling the COVID-19 outbreak and to the welfare of the people facing the current flood situation instead of political manoeuvring towards holding GE15 soon.

Prior to this, UMNO Information chief, Shahril Hamdan had reportedly said that the party’s divisional delegates’ meetings had urged that GE15 be held before the end of the first quarter of this year in order to obtain a new mandate from the people, but this should depend on the prevailing COVID-19 situation.


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