Slim by-election: EC enforces tight Covid-19 preventive measures

EC Secretary Ikmalrudin Ishak said the key issue was compliance to social distancing, wearing masks, using hand sanitiser liquids, and body temperature checks during the Slim state seat by-election. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
EC Secretary Ikmalrudin Ishak said the key issue was compliance to social distancing, wearing masks, using hand sanitiser liquids, and body temperature checks during the Slim state seat by-election. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

TANJUNG MALIM, Aug 14 — The Election Commission will apply and ensure strict enforcement of Covid-19 Preventive Guidelines during the Slim state seat by-election.

EC Secretary Ikmalrudin Ishak said the guidelines will be enforced at all stages of the election process from the briefings for staff, nomination of candidates, printing process and checking of ballot papers, issuance and counting of postal votes, checking the ballot boxes, during the campaign period, polling day, and official counting of votes.

He said the key issue was compliance to social distancing, wearing masks, using hand sanitiser liquids, and body temperature checks.

On nomination day tomorrow, no candidate will not be allowed to organise processions with their supporters or hold group activities.

“Only the candidate, one proposer and one seconder will be allowed into the nomination centre,” he said in a statement today.

Ikmalrudin said throughout the campaign period, each candidate will be allowed to open up a committee room (party operations room) while abiding by the requirements for social distancing, wearing masks, body temperature checks and using hand sanitiser.

During the political talks, the number of attendees cannot exceed 250 at any one time and place, subject to the size of the venue and permit obtained from the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).

On visits to the homes of voters, the candidate or his representative will not be allowed any physical contact or to shake the hands of the occupants, and the candidates are encouraged to campaign using online mediums or the social media.

“The EC will monitor all the candidates’ activities during the campaign period with the help of two Election Campaign Enforcement Teams (PPKPR) including compliance with the special guidelines,” he said.

Ikmalrudin added that on polling day, all voters are required to wear masks, go through body temperature checks, use hand sanitisers and observe social distancing.

“On polling day, hand sanitiser dispensers will be provided at all voting centres. The voters must use the hand sanitiser at four stations at the polling centres, namely at the entrance of the polling centre, the start of the polling lane, at the lane after the process of dipping their fingers in ink before getting the voting papers, and before leaving the polling centre,” he said.

Ikmalrudin said voters who are at risk and do not clear the body temperature checks will still be allowed to vote in special tents which are monitored by health officers.

‘Persons Under Surveillance’ and ‘Persons Under Investigation’ have to apply for permission from the District Health Officer to go to the polling centres for a while.

“At the official vote counting centres, the candidates and supporters of the winner are allowed to be present in minimal numbers,” he said.

The Slim state seat by-election is being held following the death of incumbent Datuk Mohd Khushairi Abdul Talib, 59, on July 15. The EC has set nomination day on August 15 while early voting is on August 25 and polling on August 29. — Bernama

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