Sarawak Polls: Be realistic with campaign SOPs for remote and rural areas, says deputy CM

KUCHING: Realistic standard operating procedures (SOP) should be put in place by the Election Commission for the coming Sarawak state election, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the SOP should facilitate safe campaigning for all parties and candidates, especially in rural and remote areas.

"We are waiting for the SOP to be announced by the EC and Health Ministry.

"We hope the SOP will be realistic, which will help us to campaign (safely)," he told reporters after presenting grants from the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) to houses of worship here on Friday (Nov 12).

Uggah said it was important to ensure that the requirements for social distancing and other preventive measures could be implemented during the campaign period to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

He noted that the coming polls would pose new challenges from previous elections due to the ongoing pandemic.

"This is going to be a different scenario altogether as we see in Melaka. The Melaka model is what we are observing now," he added.

The Sarawak Legislative Assembly was dissolved on Nov 3 following the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's consent to lift the statewide Emergency on the same day, paving the way for the state election to be held within 60 days.

The EC will meet on Nov 24 to discuss the date of the Sarawak election.

For the Melaka polls, physical campaigns, ceramah, door-to-door visits and walkabouts were not permitted during the campaign period.

Candidates were instead encouraged to campaign through online social media channels and the mass media.

They could also campaign using vehicles with loudspeakers at stipulated times and places, subject to police approval.

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