Formulation of Covid-19 SOPs for Malacca and Sarawak general elections should not be abused but should strike a proper balance between ensuring free, fair and clean election and preventing the spread of Covid-19 infections
Yesterday, the emergency in Sarawak was lifted and the Election Commission is set to conduct the 12th Sarawak state general election within 60 days.
Election Commission Secretary Ikmalrudin Ishak said that in accordance with Section 2(2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021, the Sarawak state assembly is automatically dissolved when the emergency is lifted.
The following data shows how the Covid-19 pandemic had been mishandled and messed up, making Malaysia one of the worst-performing nations in the world:
|Date||Event||Daily new Covid-19 cases||Daily Covid-19 deaths|
|11.1.21||Proclamation of Emergency||2232 new cases||4 deaths|
|1.6.21||Imposition of Total Lockdown||7105 new cases||71 deaths|
|4.11.21||Sarawak Emergency Lifted||5713 new cases||64 deaths|
The formulation of Covid-19 SOPs for Malacca and Sarawak general elections should not be abused but should strike a proper balance between ensuring free, fair and clean election and keeping Covid-19 pandemic in check.
There is no justification for the Ministry of Health and the Election Commission to impose a total ban on physical campaigning provided the Covid-19 SOPs to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections is complied with.
We must “live with Covid” in the transition of the Covid-19 pandemic to an endemic, but this does not mean that the Election Commission should go overboard to impose a total ban on physical campaigning and to allow a most unfree, unfair and dirty general election to be held.
This will be contrary to the “Live with Covid” theme to provide for the transition of Covid-19 from a pandemic to an endemic, which is seeing the opening up of the economy to save both lives and livelihoods.
It is the duty of the Election Commission to ensure the highest voter turn-out for the Malacca and Sarawak state general election, while ensuring that the Covid-19 SOPs to prevent the spread of Covid18 infections, and not be more “Ministry of Health” than the Ministry of Health.
Let us not follow the Jordanian example where there was only 29% voter turnout or the Algerian example where there was only 30% voter turnout when they held parliamentary elections in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Parliamentary special select committee on health, science and innovation should summon the Election Commission to explain how it is striking a proper balance between ensuring free, fair and clean election in the Malacca and Sarawak state general elections and preventing the spread of Covid-19 infections at a time when Malaysia is making the transition from the Covid-19 pandemic to an endemic.