Umno’s call for early election amidst flood risks “arrogant, highly irresponsible”, says Bandar Kuching MP

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, Oct 1: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has described United Malays National Organisation’s (Umno) call for an early election this year as “arrogant and highly irresponsible” in view that the nation is currently facing the monsoon season.

Dr Yii said the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has recently reported that heavy rain and thunderstorms could be expected from October to November as the country moves through the monsoon transition phase following the end of the southwest monsoon period. 

“(MetMalaysia) said the transition phase was expected to begin on Oct 3 and continue until the following month where the country will experience weak winds from all directions, conducive to thunderstorms that usually bring heavy rain and strong winds within a short period of time.

“Even with such clear and early warnings by MetMalaysia, politicians from Umno continue to forsake it for their own self-interest and willing to gamble with people’s lives just because of a bunch of people who are scared of ending up behind bars for their criminal acts,” he alleged in a statement today.

Dr Yii, who is Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth (DAPSY) national chief, recalled that the floods in December last year alone claimed about 50 lives and massive property damage, many amongst the poor and vulnerable.

In addition, he said floods also bring a higher risk of increase of diseases such as dengue, or water borne disease like leptospirosis, cholera, typhoid fever and other diseases causing gastroenteritis that comes along with the disaster.

More importantly, the Election Commission (EC) has projected that if the 15th General Election (GE15) is going to be held during the monsoon season, the cost will double up to RM1.2 billion compared to RM500 million for 2018 general election or GE14.

“The extra cost needs to be spent on logistics, particularly on transporting voters to their respective polling stations in constituencies that are flooded.

“Imagine all these extra costs which could be used to help those affected by the floods or even to help those affected by the economic recession and rising cost of food.

“In many cases, people may not be interested in the election as they will absolutely prioritise their lives over some political event. So this is a clear deliberate act of voter suppression and taking away people’s choice to vote,” he criticised.

He further called upon all parties in the government to stop the call for election and prioritise the lives of the people now as such a decision normally has to go through cabinet as well.

“If Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is really the ‘kingmaker’ that they claim to be, they should block such an attempt and hold the election when it is more suitable,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily