Sabah polls: Candidates in Covid-19 quarantine get creative with campaigning

KOTA KINABALU: The three candidates running in the Sabah elections who are currently undergoing quarantine for Covid-19 have shifted to alternative platforms to carry out their campaigning in the few remaining days until the polls on Saturday (Sept 26).

The trio contesting within Sipitang had taken preliminary Covid-19 tests earlier this week and are now undergoing the 14-day quarantine due to coming into close contact with Umno supreme council member Mohd Razlan Rafii, who tested positive for Covid-19 while campaigning in Sabah.

INTERACTIVE: Candidate list and key facts on the Sabah election

Barisan Nasional candidate for the Sindumin seat, Sani Miasin, said he is being put up in a hotel but said his swab test taken on Monday (Sept 21) had returned negative.

“However, we must follow the standard operating procedure (SOP).

“I have no worries about campaigning as I have the party machinery, I can also make calls and use social media such as Facebook and (communications app) WhatsApp to reach out.

“I also rely on former leaders here who are experienced to represent me in ceramah, ” he said when contacted Thursday (Sept 24).

He said since he tested negative, he has been given permission to vote on polling day on Saturday and had filled out a form from the Health Ministry.

“The SOPs will be up to Election Commission, they will update it, but so far they haven’t gave me details, ” Sani added.

Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob, who is also running for the Sindumin seat, is currently using Skype videoconferencing to reach out to voters from a house rented in Kampung Palakat, Sipitang, to undergo his quarantine.

His media officer Mazlan Sanoh confirmed this, although he said they have yet to get the Covid-19 test results.

“We were told to wait five days (from Monday, Sept 21), and we were informed it will take time as there were too many tests being conducted, ” said Mazlan.

He added that the game plan was to continue using Skype to connect the candidate with constituents in scheduled campaign programmes.

Meanwhile, Barisan candidate for Lumadan, Datuk Kamarlin Ombi, said on Thursday (Sept 24) that his test result had come back negative.

In news reports Wednesday (Sept 23), Kamarlin expressed his confidence that it will not affect his chances in the Lumadan seat, as the people knew him from his time as the elected representative before.

“I have been the Lumadan assemblyman for two terms, the people know me ... I have done my best in Lumadan, ” he was quoted as saying.

In the 14th General Election in 2018, Kamarlin was replaced by Matbali Musah for the seat.

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