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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Recently dismissed Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa has slammed those in his party Umno for calling for a snap election amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Umno MP labelled such a move a show of greed for power and insensitivity towards the struggling public, while denying that it is the will of the party’s grassroots.
“Urging for elections when the people and the country are struggling with Covid-19, floods, the economy, clearly reflects not only the irresponsibility, but also the hunger for power and the lack of sensitivity to the people’s suffering.
“That is not the will of the grassroots,” Annuar posted in his Twitter account yesterday.
Just earlier this week, Umno minister Khairy Jamaluddin had also said any section of Malaysia seeking a general election alongside the Covid-19 pandemic was “selfish” and “irresponsible”, but acknowledged that the group included those from his party, Umno.
Malaysia is being engulfed by a third wave of Covid-19 infections that has sent the country’s cumulative cases from 10,000 to over 120,000 in a span of three months, and broke another record as new cases breached the 3,000-mark yesterday.
The third wave was coincidentally linked to a premature Sabah state election last September that was triggered following a takeover attempt by Umno’s former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.
After a lull at the end of last year, Umno has again begun pushing for an early general election in the belief that the party could regain control of the federal government, which it lost in the 2018 general election.
While Pakatan Harapan was ousted as the federal government in February last year, the younger and smaller Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia emerged the pre-eminent political force in the federal administration, relegating Umno to a supporting role that has chafed its leaders and members.
Umno’s push to break away from the ruling Perikatan Nasional appeared to gain momentum yesterday when the party unilaterally replaced senior leader Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the secretary-general of Barisan Nasional.