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GE during monsoon season not advisable, says MetMalaysia

The department says floods generally occur throughout the country during the monsoon period.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
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Pedestrians shield themselves from the rain with umbrellas as they cross the road at Jalan Dang Wangi in Kuala Lumpur in this November 2020 file photo.
Pedestrians shield themselves from the rain with umbrellas as they cross the road at Jalan Dang Wangi in Kuala Lumpur in this November 2020 file photo.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has advised against holding an election during the northeast monsoon season, amid calls for polls to be held this year by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. 

MetMalaysia deputy director-general Hisham Mohd Anip said that floods generally occur throughout the country during the monsoon period.

"Even during the transition period, many places have already flooded," he said, citing the recent floods in Perak and Johor. 

"So in terms of suitability, it will not help to hold an election," he added when questioned at the National Climate Forum today. 

The northeast monsoon is expected to continue from November until March next year. 

The country is currently transitioning from the southwest monsoon phase. 

Hisham said states on the west coast would be more affected by the northeast monsoon than in previous years. 

Nevertheless, he said that based on existing weather models, the phenonemon would not bring about extreme weather, with normal or less than normal rainfall expected. 

"There is no single model that predicts the amount of extreme rainfall in terms of monthly rainfall," he added. 

"We don't expect the current La Nina phenomenon to result in us receiving more rain."

Hisham however said that the department expects above-normal rainfall to hit northern and eastern Sabah in December and January. 

Meanwhile, on the east coast of the peninsula which is often a priority for disaster management efforts during the monsoon season, he said there was no significant change in the amount of rain expected. 

Some areas in Pahang and Johor have already experienced floods, resulting in the transfer of hundreds of victims to temporary evacuation centres. 

Hisham said based on the rain patterns, the states in the peninsula were receiving rain ahead of the arrival of the northeast monsoon.

MalaysiaNow previously reported that the 15th general election (GE15) would take place amid flash floods and storms if it is held after mid-November.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah meanwhile visited the national flood forecasting and warning centre this morning, ahead of a widely expected audience with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob in the afternoon.

Calls for GE15 to be held this year have been led by Zahid and a group of Umno leaders aligned with him, despite the current Parliament term expiring only next year. 

The state governments under Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional have opposed any move for an early election, saying they will not dissolve their state assemblies until next year.