With daily Covid-19 cases in Malaysia reaching an all-time high, holding a general election now would be a grave public health risk, warned Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“This is not the right time. As the Mosti minister, I always look at the (Covid-19) infections data.
“It’s not only the grassroots; the public do not wish to have elections (before the vaccine arrives here). There are some politicians who called for elections and this is an irresponsible stance,” he said at a press conference after launching the Malaysian Grand Challenges (MGC), a plan to address issues in various sectors through five Research and Development (R&D) fund schemes for individuals and companies.
Khairy, who is Rembau Member of Parliament, said Malaysia’s proposed polls should not be compared to elections recently held in other countries, namely, New Zealand and Singapore.
This is because those elections were held on smaller scales, with high compliance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), he said.
“It was evident during the Sabah state elections that we could not adhere to the SOPs, especially the politicians.
“Thus, it is not suitable to hold elections (based on the current situation). I have seen some of those who called for elections in Facebook posts (pictures) and they were not even wearing face masks and shaking hands with people,” said the Umno leader.
In explaining his recent Instagram story post, Khairy described those who called for elections during the pandemic as having a ‘pisang goreng’ (banana fritter) mentality.
“If we don’t want to give support (to the current administration) because the government does not want to interfere with the ongoing court cases (of several politicians), then that is the level of ‘goreng pisang’ mentality. Previously, it was lobak (carrot); now it’s goreng pisang.”
He was referring to his altercation with Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, which originated from his tweet on Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Sales and Services Tax (SST) in 2018, when Khairy described the latter as having an IQ level of a carrot.
Malaysia recorded 3,027 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total number of cases to 128,465.
Of the total, 25,742 are active cases.
It was reported that Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said the party wants the next general election to be held immediately, saying polls have been held in other countries during the pandemic.