Not advisable to hold any election now, says health DG

(The New Sarawak) – HEALTH director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has advised against the  holding of any election to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He said as confirmed cases of Covid-19 continues to rise nationwide, the ministry was concerned over another surge in Covid-19 cases after an election, as seen with the Sabah polls.

However, he said, if it must be held, then new and stricter SOPs must be in place and postal voting encouraged.

He said among the three main issues that the ministry needs to discuss with the Election Commission, includes to ban cross-border and no cross-district travel, mass gatherings and no house-to-house visits.

“We need to discuss with the EC, and whether we can implement the use of postal votes and how to improve the SOPs and the overall situation,” he a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

He was commenting on the the 12th Sarawak state election, which must take place by June next year, and is expected to be held soon, while the Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah is scheduled to take place on Dec 5.

“If it cannot be avoided, you still have to organise the election, under the Constitution, then we have to look into the SOP (standard operating procedure) on how we can conduct the election and minimise infection,” he said.

“We have learned this from Sabah. We hope we do not repeat similar consequences of the election in other states,” he said.