Saturday, March 6, 2021

MPs from 7 opposition parties condemn Umno ‘power grab’ amid pandemic, floods

They say they are 'appalled' by Umno's continued call for a snap election during such a time.

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More than a dozen MPs have urged Malaysians to reject any attempt to force a general election during the pandemic season, as a group of Umno leaders aligned with former prime minister Najib Razak continues its threats to quit the ruling coalition.

“Umno now wants to use fresh elections as a trump card to grab more power at the expense of Malaysians’ well-being and health safety. They have bared their true colours for all to see,” they said in a joint statement.

The statement, signed by 13 MPs and a senator from seven opposition parties, questioned the Umno leaders’ action as the country battles a fierce spike in Covid-19 infections as well as hardships caused by floods in several states.

“Some states are hit by severe floods and more than 15,000 Malaysians have been displaced. Current unemployment or reduced income for many families in this time of pandemic remains unsettling.

“With these in mind, we are appalled by the continuous demand by Umno to hold snap polls in such a climate,” said the statement.

The statement was signed by Darell Leiking, Azis Jamman and Isnaraissah Munirah from Warisan, Syed Saddiq (Muda), Hannah Yeoh, Yeo Bee Yin, Sivarasa Rasiah and Teo Nie Ching (PKR), Baru Bian (PSB), Mahfuz Omar, Khalid Samad and Salahuddin Ayub (Amanah) and Amiruddin Hamzah (Pejuang). Another member of the Pejuang bloc who signed the statement is Marzuki Yahya, a senator in the Dewan Negara.

The statement comes after Umno division leaders were called to the party headquarters today where leaders urged them to turn their backs on the Perikatan Nasional government.

MalaysiaNow reported that Zahid in his speech today told MPs to quit supporting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government by February in order to force snap polls as soon as possible.

In their joint statement, the 14 leaders described attempts to force an election as part of Umno’s “wicked and selfish ambition for power”.

“We have lost enough from years of misgovernance and corruption.”

The MPs also recalled Najib’s call to Umno members prior to the 2013 general election, where he said Umno would defend Putrajaya “even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost”.

“This nation needs to heal and the time to heal is now,” they said.

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