KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — The government should take immediate action against Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for going against the prohibition and attending political gatherings in Melaka ahead of the state election, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.
If it can’t do that, the government should revoke the blanket ban on all political parties, the Opposition lawmaker added.
“Either the Health Ministry takes immediate action against Najib and Muhyiddin or it should scrap the ban and discuss with all political parties and the Election Commission on the SOPs which should be used to ensure free, fair and clean elections as well as to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” the Iskandar Puteri MP said in a statement.
Lim said that for all the Health Ministry’s assurance that its officers will be deployed to Melaka to ensure compliance with its rules and regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19, politicians from the ruling parties have been observed mingling freely with their supporters and voters in the state.
According to Lim, these gatherings have been held openly under the guise of public meet-and-greet programmes or other such flimsy excuses.
He pointed out Najib’s recent visit to a fishing village in Tanjung Kling and a wet market in Melaka while Muhyiddin visited two Gerai Prihatin Rakyat organised by his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Lim noted that these visits and gatherings proceeded without any intervention by Health Ministry officials or any other authority.
“What is the purpose of the Health Ministry ban under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act except to hinder Opposition election campaigns?” he asked.
On October 24, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the prohibition of all activities, gatherings or social meetings related to political campaigning in Melaka from October 25 to November 27.
He invoked the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, also known as Act 342, and said the ban is to prevent the coronavirus from surging out of control again, much like the country experienced after the Sabah state election last September.
On Facebook, Najib said he was just visiting Melaka for its food and to meet with “old friends” while sharing pictures that showed him in close proximity with crowds.
He even shared a post yesterday commending the Health Ministry enforcers on duty while he was having his breakfast in Melaka, saying one of them asked him in a whisper if he had registered via the MySejahtera app.
Official election campaigning for Melaka kicks off on November 8, which is nomination day.
Voters will cast their ballots on November 20.
The Election Commission is yet to announce its SOPs for the state polls during the Covid-19 pandemic.