Sabah polls: 270 not able to vote early as they’re under quarantine

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Early voting for the Sabah state elections has been proceeding smoothly, although 270 police personnel were not able to cast their ballots as they were under quarantine, says the nation’s top cop.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador (pic) said of all the policemen who were supposed to cast their early votes, some 270 were not able to do so as they were under Covid-19 quarantine.

“These are those who had directly dealt with detainees that had tested positive for the virus as well as others who had come into contact with them, ” he said.

He advised all campaigners and voters to remember that while campaigning, there was a bigger threat that still loomed – the Covid-19 pandemic.

“So please make sure everyone abides strictly to the SOPs put in place to minimise the risk of transmission, ” said Hamid, who was present at the state police headquarters in Kepayan near here to observe the early polling.

The IGP added that there had been no reports of unwanted incidents with regard to the electoral process so far.

“I hope this smooth and calm situation will continue even after polling day on Sept 26, ” he said in urging all voters to keep their calm and not let their emotions get the better of them as voting day drew nearer.

Meanwhile, Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said the commission would be meeting with the Health Ministry, national security personnel and other relevant authorities on how to allow voting in the state polls, given the number of Covid-19 infections in Sabah.

“Covid-19 is a pandemic that involves national security, so we must make sure all health and legal aspects are adhered to if patients or those suspected of having contracted the virus are allowed to vote, ” he said.

Ghani reminded all voters to adhere strictly to the SOP, including maintaining social distancing, putting on face masks, sanitising their hands, having their temperatures taken, and recording their attendance before entering voting stations.

On the early voting process for Sabah, he said the EC had recorded a 35% turnout as at 10am.

“This shows how seriously our uniformed personnel take the polls, ” he said.

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