No social gatherings relating to Melaka state-election

MoH’s Khairy says the rule will be effective today until Nov 27

by ASILA JALIL / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD

THE Health Ministry (MoH) is not allowing any social gatherings or events in Melaka relating to the state election during the period leading to polling day on Nov 20, 2021, to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections.

Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said in a statement yesterday that the rule will be effective today until Nov 27.

“This ban is in line with the list of unauthorised activities (negative list) in the National Recovery Plan’s latest standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Phase 4, which include any activities that could lead to a congregation in a location and complicate physical distancing.”

Based on the MoH’s observation of the Covid-19 situation in the country, Khairy said the rise in infections and in the number of clusters in the country is closely related to social events that do not adhere to the SOPs.

He expects a number of social events with regards to the state election would be held following the Election Commission’s (EC) announcement last week.

“As the risk of transmission of Covid-19 infection remains high, especially with the spread of the Delta variant in communities and the rise in the number of new infections, any social gathering activities will increase the risk of transmission in communities.

“Individuals or organisers who breach the rule may be subject to legal action such as a compound or prosecution in court if they are found guilty under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Act 1988 (Act 342).

“Everyone is required to comply with the rules, SOPs and instructions that have been set to ensure the transmission of infections can be prevented,” Khairy added.

The EC has set Nov 8 for nominations, Nov 16 for early voting and Nov 20 for polling.

The Melaka State Legislative Assembly was dissolved on Oct 4 after four representatives withdrew their support for Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

The four former assemblymen who triggered the state election were Datuk Seri Idris Haron (BN-Sungai Udang), Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (BN-Pantai Kundor), Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Independent-Pengkalan Batu) and Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Bersatu-Telok Mas).