DAP slams political gatherings ban ahead of Melaka election, says govt afraid to face voters

Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng addresses members of the media at the Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng addresses members of the media at the Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur August 2, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has chided Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin for banning all physical gatherings due to Covid-19 ahead of the upcoming Melaka state election.

The Bagan MP alleged that the decision was made as the Perikatan Nasional ruling coalition is afraid to face voters following recent events.

“DAP condemns the announcement by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin banning all physical gatherings and social events related to the upcoming Malacca election, including the launching of parties’ election machinery from October 25 to November 27.

“The ruling parties in government may be fearful of facing the voters for causing the collapse of the Melaka state government and the failure in administration such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic recession,” he said in a statement today.

Lim also said that the government should not interfere with the matters of the Election Commission (EC) and should let elections be conducted traditionally.

He said that if Khairy worried about another surge of Covid-19 cases in the country, the latter would not allow the state election to happen in the first place.

“If Khairy is indeed worried about the risk of new Covid-19 infections, he would not be allowing elections instead,” he added.

The DAP lawmaker said that his party will have its lawyers to study whether the banning is legal.

“DAP will also instruct our lawyers to study whether such a ban and onerous restrictions of candidates meeting voters is lawful and in compliance with election rules and regulations.

“DAP and Pakatan Harapan leaders will be meeting to discuss these unfair and undemocratic restrictions that are intended to handicap the opposition and facilitate an early advantage for the government,” he said.

Earlier today, Khairy announced that the health ministry will prohibit all activities, gatherings or social meetings related to political campaigning for next month’s Melaka polls.

He cited the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, also known as Act 342, for the prohibition.

He said this stance is also in line with the prohibited activities listed under Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan.

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