Rafizi: Umno desperate for early polls due to dip in Malay voters’ support

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PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli said that his party has noted a dip in Malay support for Umno which explains why the party led by president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is so desperate to hold an early election.

At an “Ayuh Malaysia” campaign last night the former Pandan MP claimed that PKR’s recent survey found that Malay support for Umno has dropped from 27 percent to 18 percent.

“This is the reason why Umno wants to hold the next general election in November.

“Based on our survey of 2,500 Malay voters, support for Umno at the beginning of August was 27 percent, before the littoral combat ship (LCS) scandal went viral and ex-premier Najib Abdul Razak went to prison,” Rafizi said, which afterwards fell to 18 percent.

“If the support was so strong, it would not matter if the election was held in November or next February or April,” he added.

Rafizi stressed that the opposition’s main worry was the lives at risk if polls are held during the monsoon season.

“Due to climate change, this year’s floods could be the worst one yet. We should be focusing on how many boats are needed for the floods and the number of schools needed for emergency shelters.

“Instead, the government wants to risk it all by considering holding the election in November,” he said.

Yesterday, Zahid argued that if Parliament is dissolved, the caretaker prime minister will still have the powers to tackle floods.

“In terms of powers and controlling floods during the monsoon season, the prime minister still has the powers, and it would be difficult for the opposition to shine during this period.

“The opposition feels stressed about this (scenario). The opposition is unable to compete on a level playing field with the ruling parties when Parliament is dissolved.

“The opposition does not have this advantage and this makes them worried,” the Umno president said.

Rafizi had earlier launched a petition against holding the general election during this year’s monsoon season, even as Umno intensified pressure on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to call the 15th general election (GE15) as soon as possible.

On Friday, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said the Umno supreme council decided that Parliament should be dissolved soon to pave way for GE15 this year and that the prime minister will be proposing a date for Parliament’s dissolution to the king. – Malaysiakini