Sarawak Polls: GPS' candidate for Nangka seat requests physical ceramah to be allowed

SIBU: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Dr Annuar Rapaee (pic) will request the Election Commission (EC) to allow physical ceramah to take place in the Nangka state seat, saying the semi-urban constituency in Sibu lacked stable Internet access.

Dr Annuar, who will be defending the Nangka seat under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) for the third term, said he will soon write to the Nangka returning officer to request an exception in Nangka.

“There are 34 longhouses and about half of them do not have stable Internet access,” he was quoted as saying during an online interview with Bernama Radio on Tuesday (Dec 7).

Latest SOPs by the EC now allowed physical ceramah in 64 state seats identified as having poor 4G Internet coverage.

Nangka isn’t one of the 64 state seats that are allowed to hold physical ceramah.

Dr Annuar said he had visited the longhouses in Nangka ahead of Nomination Day and he hoped that the EC will give the constituency some flexibility.

“I have visited all the longhouses involved before the Nomination Day on Monday (Dec 6) because I expected the ban on open campaigning to be implemented.

“The way I see it, I have to go back to some of the longhouses to meet the voters,” he said.

The Nangka state seat is locked in a three-cornered fight against Dr Annuar and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Intanurazean Wan Sapuan Daud and Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) 24-year-old Olivia Lim Wen Sia, who’s also the youngest candidate in the state election.

Physical ceramah in the 64 constituencies will be held under strict SOPs to curb Covid-19, which includes requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated and to undergo RTK antigen self-test prior to the event.

The ceramah SOPs also required a limit of 50% attendance of the premise capacity or a maximum of 150 people at one time.

Organisers are required to apply for a permit from the police prior to the ceramah, where they must state the location and date of the event.

Ceramah are restricted to two hours and it cannot go later than 10pm.

Physical ceramah are banned at some 18 urban state seats, including Padungan, Batu Kawa, Pending, Satok, and Kota Sentosa in Kuching; Pelawan in Sibu; Tanjung Batu in Bintulu; and Piasau, Pujut and Senadin in Miri.

The 64 state seats where limited physical campaigning is allowed are constituencies mostly located in the interiors of Sarawak, among them Tanjong Datu, Stakan, Telang Usan, Mambong, Bawang Assan, Baleh, Ba’Kelalan, and Gedong.

Early voting for the Sarawak state elections has been set at Dec 14 and polling on Dec 18.

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GPS , Nangka , Dr Annuar Rapaee , EC , Physical ceramahs


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