The dissolution of Parliament and the plot to push for a general election in November, despite it being the monsoon season, is an indicator that things are not right in our nation.
Many were against this premature timing of the election, which could have been carried out in the first half of 2023.
But despite the prevailing wisdom and even common sense, the powers that be were desperately adamant about holding the general election during this monsoon season, despite forecasts by Metrological Department about the possibility of torrential downpours.
Many cities, towns and rural areas – both in the peninsula and east Malaysia – might not be spared flash floods.
This year’s monsoon season could result in another national crisis. It could disrupt lives and affect work, schools, businesses and transportation. It is also likely to put immense pressure on the emergency services involved in rescue and relief operations.
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Yet, the calls for a more sensible decision were drowned by politicians who were desperate to return to power.
The politicians in the second backdoor government, who were given the royal assent to govern until the next general election, due by 2023, instead surrendered their responsibility by calling for an early election in the monsoon season, despite warnings about the likelihood of floods and rising water levels.
Several academics even supported the decision to hold the elections using ridiculous justifications.
As more warnings by the Metrological Department emerge, the caretaker prime minister now seems to be having second thoughts.
Caretake Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s latest announcement that the Election Commission has the power to call off polling on 19 November should the flood situation worsen is cause for serious concern. If that happens, it would ridicule the government’s decision-making capacity, not only among locals but also in the eyes of many foreign observers following developments in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the request by certain quarters that the Election Commission outlines clear procedures should floods disrupt polling day appears to have gone unaddressed.
We are now well into the two-week campaign period. Already, some people appear to have been affected by rising waters in certain places, and they could be denied the democratic right to even attend election rallies.
When the country’s resources and focus should have been on preparing for and responding to the devastation of the monsoon, we are instead seeing money, resources, time and effort going into holding election campaigns and organising the electoral process.
The billions of ringgit that will be used in this early general election could have been prudently channelled to alleviate the possible devastation of floods, if or when they occur.
If the rush to hold an early general election is not sheer foolish arrogance, then it reflects diabolic greed for power, peppered by an absolute disregard for the people’s welfare, safety and security.