Wan Junaidi: Official events not a platform to stage campaigns

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet will discuss ways to prevent ministers from using official events as a ruse to campaign during the coming Melaka state election, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“I will bring it up during the next Cabinet meeting so that ministers do not circumvent the standard operating procedures set by the National Security Council and Health Ministry which will be implemented by the Election Commission,” said the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law).

He was responding to a question in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday by Bandar Baru Kulim MP Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who wanted assurance that official ministerial events would not be used by the ministers to campaign during the state polls.

Saifuddin said there should not be “double standards” in the implementation of the SOP during the 11-day campaign period.

He also questioned why political gatherings and door-to-door campaigning were not allowed during the state polls when most social and economic activities were now permitted in Melaka.

On Sunday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said political gatherings would not be allowed from Oct 25 to Nov 27 during the Melaka state polls.

The ban comes in light of concerns that large political gatherings and events could result in a spike in Covid-19 cases as with the Sabah state polls last year.

Wan Junaidi said he could not give Saifuddin a guarantee that there would not be any political gatherings or activities despite the protocols set.“Look at Sabah. We had the SOP, yet the rakyat gathered and political parties did too.

“We cannot give assurance against political activists who carry out political activities,” he said.

The Melaka state election will be held on Nov 20 and nomination day will be on Nov 8.

Wan Junaidi also said the EC was currently drafting an improved SOP for the state polls which would be announced on Nov 7.

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