Sarawak polls: Campaigning with vehicles equipped with speakers allowed, police permit required, says EC

Election Commission headquarters is seen in Putrajaya, March 29, 2021. — Bernama pic
Election Commission headquarters is seen in Putrajaya, March 29, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUCHING, Dec 5 — Candidates of the 12th Sarawak Election can campaign with their vehicles installed with speakers or other multimedia equipment at a time stipulated in the police permit, said the Election Commission (EC).

In the just released standard operating procedures (SOPs), the EC said that candidates must first obtain approval from the police and the location and time for campaigning depends on the permit approved by the police. [See: 12th Sarawak Election SOP]

It said that such vehicles will not be allowed to stop along the road for political speeches.

The EC said that candidates are encouraged to utilise social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WeChat, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram or other similar apps for their campaigning activities.

They can also spread messages via television channels and local newspapers as well as make good use of technology as part of the new norm during this Covid-19 pandemic.

The commission said that candidates are subjected to Election Offences 1954 (Act 5) and campaigning activities conducted via social media during polling day will not be allowed.

It also said that candidates and party workers must carry out RTK-Ag test before distributing fliers or election materials.

The tests need to be taken at the party’s or candidate’s operations room and the results must be submitted via MySejahtera or recorded in a book.

“Fliers or election materials can be distributed in front of a house or the ‘ruai’ of a longhouse. Candidates and workers are not allowed to enter the rooms of a longhouse or inside a resident’s home.”

Candidates and party workers must wear face masks during the distribution and record down the places visited for tracking purposes if necessary.

No physical interaction is allowed between candidates or representatives with residents, and social distancing of one metre must be observed. Only three fully vaccinated individuals, including the candidates and party’s workers, are allowed to distribute fliers or election materials.

Candidates are allowed to put up banners and bunting at their respective constituency and they can also distribute campaigning pamphlets through a resident’s mailbox. — Borneo Post

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