Penang may not run polls with GE15 if it is held during the monsoon period


PENANG may not call for a state election concurrently with the 15th General Election (GE15) if the general election is held during the monsoon period.


Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who is also the Penang DAP chairman, slammed the idea of holding the GE15 during the monsoon period.


“The monsoon period is ‘definitely’ not a suitable time to have election campaigns and polling. What happens if floods occur on the night before the polling day or on the polling day?


“How could Malaysian voters be able to exercise their right to vote when they have to face a life-and-death situation or when their homes are flooded? Even the polling centres may not be spared.


“The polling clerks may not be able to go to the polling stations when they are flooded, and no vehicles can send the ballot papers to the polling stations when they are flooded. We have seen photos of schools and community halls being flooded during the monsoon period, and these are the polling stations.


“So, would that be a meaningful election? The whole election process would be jeopardised. Can we call ourselves a democratic country when voters can’t even get to vote on the polling day?


“It will result in a very low turnout; not because the voters do not want to go out and cast their votes, but because they can’t,” Chow replied to a journalist at a media conference this afternoon.


Chow said that many people had criticised the statement by Barisan Nasional for being ‘so determined’ to have an early election, even during the monsoon period.


“Perhaps, they have disregarded the impact of the floods, the logistics issues, and the life-and-death concerns of the people.


“I believe that the voice of the people is loud and clear. That they are against holding the GE15 during the monsoon period.


“And I trust that if the GE15 is called during the monsoon period, the voters who turn out to vote will vote against the party (Barisan Nasional) who called for the election during such period,” he said.


Chow added: “Let them consider the people’s voice and strong objection”.


It was reported by a news portal that Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said the Opposition was against holding the GE15 during the upcoming monsoon season as it is afraid it will lose.


Launching the Barisan Youth election machinery on Sept 17, Ahmad Zahid had said the coalition was willing to wade through flood waters to campaign for GE15 if it was held during the monsoon season.