EC chief denies making full Covid-19 vaccination requirement to vote in Melaka state poll

Election Commission chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya October 13, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Election Commission chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya October 13, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh has denied plans to restrict voting in the November 20 Melaka state election only to those fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

He was responding to reports that represented him as saying so, along with plans to introduce voting slots to limit Covid-19 infection risks.

“The EC also wishes to stress that the Covid-19 standard operating procedures for the Melaka state election has not been finalised.

“These SOPs will be based on the views and advice of the National Security Council, Health Ministry, and the Royal Malaysia Police,” he said in a statement.

Earlier today, the EC announced that nomination for the Melaka state election has been set for November 8, with voting to take place on November 20.

At least two news outlets reported Ghani as saying that voting would be limited to those fully vaccinated against Covid-19, using remarks attributed to national news agency Bernama.

This included a quote of Ghani urging would-be voters to seek Covid-19 vaccination as there was still time to do so before voting.

The reports have led to criticism of Ghani, including from the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) whose president, Gurdial Singh Nijar, labelled the restriction as unconstitutional.

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