Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan, who has pushed for an early general election, said today that if the people could queue in markets and restaurants, they could surely do so at voting centres.
“If you can go to the shops, markets and restaurants and queue up every day, then why can’t you queue up for one day to vote, with tight SOPs in place?” he said in a Twitter posting.
Ahmad, who is also the Barisan Nasional secretary-general, was among Umno leaders who have defended the party’s call for a snap general election, while opposition parties and political analysts have criticised their stand.
He said the elections should only be called after the floods have ended and the Covid-19 vaccinations began. He did not specify if elections should be held only after all Malaysians are vaccinated.
Ahmad said political parties could use social media extensively for campaigning if elections are held during the pandemic, adding that he does not see why this cannot be implemented.
Yesterday, he had given examples of a few countries who had carried out their elections amid the pandemic such as the US and Singapore.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been among those urging that fresh elections be held as soon as possible despite the pandemic.
“Why are we afraid of holding a general election during the pandemic? More than 30 countries have already done so. Why is Malaysia so afraid? I think that we’re not really scared of Covid-19 but of other things,” he said last Sunday at a divisional meeting.
However, Cabinet minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said that holding elections now would only pose high risks to public health and Umno’s reputation.
“We cannot compare ourselves to other countries that have held elections such as New Zealand and Singapore, because first, these were held on a smaller scale. Secondly, as we saw in Sabah, we cannot comply with the SOPs, especially among politicians. So it is not right to make a comparison,” he said on Friday.
He noted that even politicians did not comply with the SOPs, with their Facebook posts showing some of them not wearing face masks in public.