Melaka Polls: Not understanding election SOP is no excuse for violating it, say cops

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 10 Nov 2021

MELAKA (Bernama): Political parties cannot use the excuse of not understanding or being unclear about standard operating procedures (SOP) for them to breach the regulations during the state election.

Melaka police chief Datuk Abdul Majid Mohd Ali said the recent SOP and permit coordination briefing which was attended by the National Security Council (NSC), Election Commission (EC) and candidates' representatives as well as political parties was to explain and clarify understanding on the matter.

"We also cleared up several areas found vague and I hope parties campaigning in the election carry out their responsibilities according to the regulations.

"The explanation was to find common ground between the actions taken by enforcement units and compliance with SOP,” he told reporters after a briefing at Melaka police contingent headquarters in Ayer Keroh here on Wednesday (Nov 10).

He said all SOPs and regulations set by NSC, EC and the Health Ministry were to prevent a surge of Covid-19 infections during the Melaka election.

In this regard, he stressed that political parties and candidates are required to apply for permits to use lorries or vans installed with loudhailers to campaign and adhere to the condition of not stopping at any place at random.

They should also observe the set duration for such campaigning, he added.

"One permit is only for one vehicle and police would also set the duration on the road, which is a maximum of two hours, as well as the route.

"The purpose of issuing the permit is to control public order and health. So far, we have only received two applications from political parties for a permit,” he said.

He said from Oct 25 until Tuesday (Nov 9), police had received 23 reports of SOP infringements under the Prevent and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

They had also issued RM82,000 in compound norices for offences such as not observing physical distancing, not wearing face masks and not scanning the MySejahtera QR code.

The EC has set polling day for Nov 20. Nomination day was on Monday (Nov 8) while early voting will be on Nov 16.

The state election was called following the dissolution of the state assembly on Oct 4 after four assemblymen withdrew their support for the chief minister. – Bernama

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