KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) today urged the authorities to take a serious look at the Covid-19 SOPs in place for the Johor state election, especially during campaigning.

Its party election director Haniza Mohd Talha said there has been a surge in infections which has affected candidates and members of the media with more cases expected to emerge in the coming days from other political parties.

As such she suggested avoiding large crowds by providing online coverage for their campaigns and asked for better communication from the campaigning parties when it comes to requests for interviews.

“PBM is greatly concerned over this and fears the infections will worsen, while it could even be a repeat of what happened in Sabah if no action is taken, especially come polling day.


“As an immediate measure, the relevant authorities should look into the SOPs on campaigning as a high number of journalists covering the campaign trails has also been infected.

“The communication teams for the respective candidates must be more pro-active and cater to requests from journalists for questions and interviews effectively rather than telling them to meet during campaign trails,” she said in a statement.

Haniza said many events attracted large crowds hence they were held in remote areas and media had no choice but to attend them but she was informed that around seven media personnel had been infected.


The five candidates affected so far include Pakatan Harapan’s Jementah candidate Ng

Kor Sim; Pekan Nanas candidate Yeo Tung Siong (PH); Penggaram candidate Ter Hwa

Kwong (BN); Bukit Batu candidate Chiong Sen Sern (PKR); and Gambir candidate Naim

Jusri (PKR).

“PBM hopes the relevant authorities and all political parties concerned will play their

part to help ensure the situation does not get worse and to relook the current SOPs to

ensure the safety of everyone, especially voters on polling day,” Haniza added.

Malaysia’s infection rate has risen spectacularly in the past months with a record 33,064 cases today. Johor has 19,995 active cases including 2,685 new cases today with 10 fatalities.

There will be 239 candidates in the Johor polls, paving the way for multi-cornered contests in all 56 seats.

The Election Commission (EC) has set March 12 as the polling date for the state election and early voting will be on March 8.

Johor has 56 state constituencies, with more than 2.59 million voters who are eligible to cast their ballots. The EC is targeting a 70 per cent voter turnout.