Prioritise the people - no to GE15, says PH MPs

22 Mar 2022 09:15am
Salahuddin (left) and Santiago (right). (SOURCE: FIle pics)
Salahuddin (left) and Santiago (right). (SOURCE: FIle pics)

SHAH ALAM - An election is the last thing Malaysia needs at the moment as opposition lawmakers call out Umno’s top leadership for their adamant demand to expedite the 15th General Election (GE15).

Pakatan Harapan MPs stated that it was not the right time to address the strengths of political parties but to prioritise the needs of the people and expedite Parliamentary reforms.

Amanah deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said the opposition has accepted the defeat in Johor and admitted that Umno or Barisan Nasional (BN) had the public’s support thus now is the time they should put the people and country first.

“You can win Johor, we don’t mind and it was done via democratic means but please ponder, have some wisdom for the country, economy and people’s struggles.

“Umno is the oldest party in service in this country, they need to stop thinking about their own self-interest.

“Think of the people first because if you were to dissolve the parliament, it will surely make the people suffer even more,” he told Sinar Daily.

Salahuddin said Umno was showing its true colours now demanding things to be according to their needs instead of the people.

“What else do you (Umno) want? You won in Johor, you are part of the Federal Government but yet you are not thinking about the people.

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“Just because you won the state elections does not mean you can win the general elections. It is totally a different ball game,” he said, adding that the top party leaders were making a mockery on the rule of law.

Salahuddin said this in reference to Umno President Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s comments about the political court cluster in his opening speech at the Umno Annual General Assembly on March 18, where he was seen joking about the cluster being on stage with him that day.

“These kinds of people should be given power once more in the next election.

“I hope people foresee this for our country’s future and learned from what happened in the recent state elections,” he said.

Meanwhile, Klang MP Charles Santiago said Malaysia was in a state of flux as people were still stuck in the same place a decade ago in terms of politics, economy and social welfare.

He said when you go to the ground, many people - regardless of race, gender and religion, do not see a future for the country due to the political toxicity.

He said the government was paralysed and could not take a step forward, stating that all political parties in the country had contributed to this paralysis.

“Everybody,” he said to name of the parties.

Santiago said the political elites, despite knowing they are in the wrong, win a position to make things favourable to them. In this case, push for the elections to happen.

“The ordinary people are suffering, this is very clear but the political elite playing a totally different game. They are so far removed because they have the money and control of the social media platforms.

"Is having a new government important for the country? No. Education, employment and wages, is that important? Yes. The Johor polls weren’t necessary but Umno wanted it and they got it," he told Sinar Daily.

He stated that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was being pushed around by all sides since he took over the premiership.

Santiago said thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding, it wasn’t a surprise that Ismail Sabri had managed to hold the premiership this long.

He urged Ismail Sabri to evaluate and review the effectiveness as well as the impact of the MoU as they were only halfway through now.

On Saturday (March 19), Ismail Sabri gave assurance that he would hold discussions with Umno's "top five" on the dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for GE15.

The "top five" refer to Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and the party's three vice-presidents, namely Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Ismail Sabri himself.

The prime minister said after discussions with the other four party leaders, he would bring the matter up for discussion in Umno's supreme council and the Cabinet before being presented to the King.

The current Parliament term expires in June 2023 and GE15 must be held by July that year.