COVID-19: Improved Chini by-election SOP to be used in Slim - Ismail Sabri

The guidelines used during the Chini state seat by-election will be used in the Slim by-election with some improvements to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Ismail Sabri said the EC will hold discussions with representatives of the contesting political parties on the by-election guidelines which need to assessed according to the current situation. - Filepic/BERNAMA | Astro Awani
The guidelines used during the Chini state seat by-election will be used in the Slim by-election with some improvements to curb the spread of COVID-19, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said this includes the party operations rooms and the smaller by-elections rooms which have been permitted opened during the by-election, including on polling day, subject to the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Election Commission (EC).

“The operations rooms must first be registered with the EC for monitoring purposes.

“The campaign and talks can only be conducted in enclosed or gated areas to facilitate monitoring and body temperature checks,” he said at the press conference on the Recovery Movement Control Order at Parliament Building today.

Ismail Sabri said the number of attendees must be in accordance with the size of the location with social distancing, and not exceeding 250 individuals at any one time, and it is compulsory for all to use face masks.

“Voting is encouraged during the hours set by the EC. This is to avoid congestion at the polling stations. However, it is not compulsory,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said the EC will hold discussions with representatives of the contesting political parties on the by-election guidelines which need to assessed according to the current situation.

“The standard operating procedure for this by-election is based on Act 342 under the Health Ministry to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. However, the regulations under the Election Commission Act still applies for the duration of the by-election,” he said.

The Slim state seat by-election is being held following the death of incumbent Datuk Mohd Khushairi Abdul Talib, 59, on July 15. The EC has set nomination day on Aug 15 while early voting will be on Aug 25 and voting on Aug 29.

In the 14th General Election in 2018, Mohd Khusairi, who represented Barisan Nasional, retained the Slim seat with a majority of 2,183 votes, defeated Bersatu candidate Mohd Amran Ibrahim who contested on the PKR ticket, and PAS candidate Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal.

On the issue of home quarantine, Ismail Sabri said Health Ministry officials and the police conducted 2,018 surprise checks yesterday to ensure SOP compliance, and action was taken against one person.

“So far, police have taken action under Section 22(B) of Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988) on 31 individuals who violated the home quarantine SOP, including going out of their homes with the quarantine wristbands on,” he said.

He said the investigation papers have been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action if the errant individuals who violated the SOP will be brought to court or not.

-- BERNAMA