Aliran is appalled by the indecent haste with which Umno announced recently its intention to have a snap general election as soon as possible this year.
We find it astonishing that the party made a public announcement of its intention even before the prime minister could inform the Yang di-Pertuan Agong about his wish to dissolve Parliament.
Even more distressing is that such early polls could coincide with the monsoon season, which often results in flooding and widespread suffering in affected communities. Holding general elections in these circumstances would divert limited public resources away from flood-related needs.
The floods and uncertain weather could also jeopardise voter turnout. This would mean the general election outcome would not be an accurate reflection of the people’s mandate, which Umno claims it wants to return to the people.
It would be greatly disturbing if such a possible low turnout is actually part of Umno’s strategy to repeat its electoral gains in the Malacca and Johor state elections, where voter turnouts were also low.
Ordinary people should not be made to suffer because of certain politicians’ insatiable desire for power and material gain or their desperation to find a way out of their legal troubles.
Aliran calls on the government to use the remaining one year of the parliamentary term fruitfully: it should launch further structural reforms, fix the economy and mend our polarised society.
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We call on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to act with integrity in this matter. He is, after all, the prime minister of all the people of Malaysia – not just of Umno, which only controls a small minority of seats in Parliament.
Aliran is confident that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will use his discretionary powers wisely, in the best interests of the people, with respect to Umno’s intention to dissolve Parliament hastily.
Aliran executive committee
2 October 2022