Monday, December 5

Johor polls: Political parties hope some relaxation given to physical campaigning

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Yesterday, EC chairman, Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh reportedly said that he hoped the Covid-19 SOP be relaxed to allow for more open campaigning be conducted. – Bernama photo

JOHOR BAHRU (Feb 2): Some political parties hope that they be given the space and opportunity to conduct physical and face-to-face campaigning with some relaxation given to the standard operating procedure (SOP) in the upcoming Johor State Election.

Johor Perikatan Nasional (PN) Youth chief, Ahmad Nawfal Mahfudz said PN, however, would adhere to the Covid-19 SOP set.

“Whatever it is, we need to look at the current Covid-19 case developments. It’s definitely worrying. However, the social movement is ongoing while the SOP needs to be well coordinated to prevent the cases spiking to a more dangerous level.

“For the Johor State Election, the important thing is for the space be given, suffice for the candidates to meet the voters while adhering to the SOP. If it’s (SOP) too tight, campaigning is not conducive,” said Ahmad Nawfal, who is also Johor PAS Youth chief, when contacted today.

Meanwhile, Johor MCA Youth head, Johor Ling Tian Soon said relaxing the SOP for this coming state election would benefit the contesting political parties to get close to the voters in order to achieve their objective.

“However, if the SOP is relaxed, the public and political parties need to be careful as the Covid-19 cases are still being recorded.

Johor PKR deputy chairman, Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said besides allowing political parties to campaign through ceramah (public talks) while complying with a more relaxed SOP, programmes such as walkabouts would also be important in getting close to the voters in an area.

“If we look back at the Melaka State Election, the voters there had no opportunity to interact with the candidates. That was not good because in a democratic system, it is important for the voters to obtain the views and stand of the candidates on the local and national issues of concern to them,” he said.

Johor Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy chairman, Dzulkefly Ahmad said a bit relaxed SOP would give equal opportunities to the contesting opposition parties in campaigning in the election.

“I agree with the suggestion, at least campaigning should be allowed in the less risky areas, just like that implemented in the recent Sarawak State Election,” he added.

Yesterday, the Election Commission (EC) chairman, Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh reportedly said that he hoped the Covid-19 SOP be relaxed to allow for more open campaigning be conducted.

He said the EC was now discussing the matter with the Ministry of Health and National Security Council.

Johor recorded 868 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, bringing the cumulative number in the state to 260,447 and 3,918 more deaths from the viral infection.

Health director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reportedly said that the infectivity rate (Rt) remained at 1.15 yesterday, with Perlis recording the highest Rt in the country at 1.29, followed by Putrajaya (1.21) and Johor (1.17). – Bernama