PETALING JAYA: Ahead of the Election Commission's (EC) special meeting to decide on key dates for the Johor state election, Pakatan Harapan has called for a 21-day campaigning period.
Pakatan's presidential council said the Covid-19 pandemic was reaching the endemic stage as daily figures have begun to stabilise and said the EC should relax the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the state election to allow for ceramah and face-to-face campaigns.
"Allow ceramah and face-to-face campaigns such as distributing printed materials from house-house, subject to strict SOPs," said Pakatan's presidential council, adding that the campaigning period should be at least 21 days.
It also said that the Opposition should be given more air time on mainstream media and the EC should be mobilised to Malaysian embassies across the world to ensure postal votes were well-implemented.
"The Pakatan presidential council is determined to drive the entire strength of the Opposition and civil society in efforts to win the state election, not just with an aim to garner back the people's mandate in the previous election, but to form a better state government," it added.
The Pakatan presidential council comprises PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
The three-week or 21-day campaigning period for elections was implemented in two by-elections - Balakong, Sri Setia - held after the 14th General Election in May 2018.
The 21-day campaigning period, which was the longest campaigning period in the country's history, was subsequently revised by the EC at the end of 2018 following mixed public feedback.
The Melaka state election last November had a 12-day campaigning period with nomination day on Nov 8 and polling on Nov 20, 2021, while the Sarawak state election also had a 12-day campaigning period with nomination day on Dec 6 and polling day on Dec 18, 2021.
In Melaka, all forms of ceramah were banned throughout the campaigning period while the EC allowed ceramah in certain constituencies in Sarawak that have poor internet connectivity.
The EC would have a special meeting on Feb 9 to decide on key dates and matters on the 15th Johor state election, namely polling day and nomination day.