PETALING JAYA,Jan 11: A medical expert has urged Putrajaya against holding a snap election this year, saying it was unnecessary and would worsen the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia.
Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association president Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said the government’s main focus at this time should be on reducing the “concerning” number of infections in the community.
He said it was unnecessary to hold the elections in the first quarter of 2021, or even later in the year, despite Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination programme being slated to begin as early as March.
“We need to really lower the number of cases in the community. And this might take several months,” he told FMT.
Zainal, who is the former Pahang health director, said the Sabah election had clearly shown the risks of a new wave of Covid-19 infections when interstate travel was freely allowed during the election campaigning period.
“I urge politicians to be patient. If they can, work on other ways instead of an election. There’s no need to hold a general election in the first quarter of the year or during this year at all although the vaccine is here,” he said.
PPBM had previously proposed to hold a snap election once the Covid-19 situation stabilises and the vaccine is distributed to the people.
But Umno has been pushing for the polls to be held before the end of the first quarter, in order to obtain a new mandate from the people, but pending the Covid-19 situation locally.
Yesterday, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah warned that the pandemic situation here could get worse, following the spike in cases and deaths daily.
In a Facebook post, Noor Hisham pointed out that the nation only recorded less than 100 deaths due to Covid-19 between January to September last year.
“This year, in only nine days, we already have 71 deaths. I fear the worst is yet to come,” he said.