Umno’s indecent proposal for monsoon elections

BETWEEN 2001 and 2021, there were 49 flash floods in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, according to the National Audit Department, the very same department that confirmed something was amiss at 1MDB.

Meanwhile, a gargantuan 2,500mm of rain was dumped on the country over three days from December 15, 2021, equivalent to the entire annual precipitation for 2020.

The ensuing floods left more than 53 people dead, required the evacuation of about 500,000 people, and cost the nation an estimated RM6.1 billion.

Staggering statistics indeed. Poor preparedness accentuated the problem even more with federal and state governments pointing fingers at each other, leaving people to form their own rescue teams, food cooked in many gurdwaras, and the formation of the #kitajagakita movement.

In March 2022, rain pummelled Kuala Lumpur again, flooding large parts of the city.

That’s just Kuala Lumpur, ostensibly the most developed part of Malaysia. Given the history of flash floods throughout the low-lying areas of Malaysia, politicians are to be held accountable for not stopping these manmade disasters.

Yet, in order to ensure their own victory, Umno’s top five members have agreed to push Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to meet the king and request the dissolution of parliament as soon as possible.

The motivation is not difficult to understand: Umno – in league with PAS and other weak political parties – wants a low electoral turnout.

Indeed, it wants to impede the people to come out in large numbers to express the vox populi (the opinion of the majority).

In 2013, the turnout was 84.8% but Pakatan Harapan could not form a government in a national election that was heavily gerrymandered.

This time round, the will of the people would not be anything less than the two prior general elections.

Yet, urging a general election during an impending monsoon is suppression that violates the trust of the people.

The Meteorological Department of Malaysia (MetMalaysia) has predicted that, if anything, this year’s rains are going to be more disastrous than last year.

The strength of democracy, in turn the will of the whole democracy, is the willingness of incumbent office bearers to value human lives.

This is the standard practice of all law-abiding democratic leaders and their parties.

By diverting personnel and assets to organise a general election during this critical monsoon period will surely lead to a massive catastrophe and loss of life. This is against the spirit and edict of all religions.

Indeed, it will cost RM1 billion in taxpayers’ money just to get this election ready, to ensure a low electoral turn out.

All Malaysians should rise up against this Umno-led conspiracy to take office – against the will of the people.

MetMalaysia says, during the transition phase, weather conditions have the potential to cause rapid flash floods and massive floods, not seen before, as well as damage to weak structures causing disaster. 

“The region will receive weak winds from various directions that are very conducive for thunderstorms, leading to heavy rains and strong winds,” says MetMalaysia director-general Muhammad Helmi said.

“This usually occurs in the evenings and earlier parts of the night.”

He added that this will be expected in most areas on the West Coast and interiors of the peninsula, west Sabah and central Sarawak.

All these are areas that the people are already living in fear, and sheer anxiety.

By subjecting these people to the persistent insecurity, that they will not be helped, the Umno Supreme Council has already prioritised the interests of the court cluster over the welfare of the people.

It is now the responsibility of all to challenge the will of Umno. Let us all sign the petition to challenge the mendacity of Umno, as urged by Rafizi Ramli, the deputy president of PKR. 

This is now key to destroying the organised hypocrisy of Umno and PAS, which has placed them in the corner of the darkest forces.

Without this massive undertaking, Malaysia will continue to roil in a weak economy, entrapped by a weak ringgit and various problems that can lead to further systemic and structural decay. 

As things are, research has found out that Malaysians, starting at the age of 30, must start saving RM3,000 a month for the next 30 years to be able to retire well, without which they will be paupers in their own country.

Malaysians must rise to fight this inhumanity and self-serving intention of fast tracking the next election.

The level of human and political indecency is simply unimaginable. How low will these politicians stoop? – October 2, 2022.

* Rais Hussin is the CEO of Emir Research.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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