Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 24, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan argued that Malaysians could vote in a general election as they could already patronise supermarkets and restaurants.

He suggested on Twitter that the country’s over 15 million voters should be able to vote safely in a single day despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“If (they) can go to shops, supermarkets, restaurants, queue up every day, why can’t (they) line up to vote with strict SOPs for just one day?” he said.

However, he sought to qualify this by saying he was not suggesting a premature general election be held immediately.

“I said GE once the floods are over and (Covid-19) vaccination begins,” he added.

He also cited reports of the Election Commission saying that a general election would be possible using standard operating procedures to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections.

Ahmad’s Umno party has been pushing for an early general election to be held, in an apparent attempt to regain the control of the federal government that it lost in the 2018 poll.

Malaysia is currently facing a third wave of Covid-19 infections that has pushed total cases far beyond 100,000 in just three months.

Covid-19 vaccines for the general population are not expected in the country until at least the second quarter.

However, Umno lawmakers have already begun withdrawing support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his government, putting the country at risk of a premature general election now.


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