KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — To prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Election Commission (EC) should disallow ‘old norms’ such as house visits, gatherings and ceramahs during campaigning for the Melaka state election, said the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

MMA president Dr Koh Kar Chai said virtual campaigns can be implemented for the polls to avoid all forms of physical campaigning.

“In the best interest of the people’s health and safety, the usual ‘old norm’ of political campaigning which involves house-to-house visits, gatherings and ceramahs should be avoided.

“We may be in the recovery phase in the pandemic but we are still not out of the woods; therefore digital or virtual platforms should be used to campaign in order to prevent another surge of COVID-19,” he said in a statement here today.

Dr Koh said if politicians truly have the best interests of the people at heart, they should show it by choosing safe ways to campaign and not put people at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“It matters not that we have a high vaccination rate of over 90 per cent. COVID-19 is still spreading even among the fully vaccinated who can be infected and transmit the disease to individuals who are at high risk and the unvaccinated which include children below 12 years of age,” he said.

EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh had announced that the Melaka state election would be held on Nov 20, with the nomination of candidates on Nov 8 and early polling on Nov 16.

The election was called following the dissolution of the Melaka state assembly on Oct 4.


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