Huazong: With Covid-19 getting worse, elections should be avoided at all cost
The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has cautioned against holding snap elections or state elections, citing worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.
Its president, Tan Sri T.C Goh was concerned over the imminent by election for Batu Sapi which has to be held within 60 days, following the passing of the MP, the late Datuk Liew Vui Keong, recently.
“However, if it can’t be postponed, then the government and the relevant authorities must strive to ensure a proper and effective Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is in place and strictly adhere to, so as to prevent emergence of another ‘political cluster’,” he said.
He noted that even the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has recognized that the recent Sabah state election was one of the main contributing factors to the drastic spike in Covid-19 transmission in the country.
He was responding to the grave concern expressed by Muhyiddin in a live-telecast on social media yesterday, over the potential devastating consequences if there’s going to be a snap election nationwide, or another state election, during this period of time.
Goh noted that Muhyddin also said the government was considering banning large gatherings and such, including weddings, besides discussing with the Ministry of Health if we need new SOPs, to better contain the spread of the elusive and deadly virus.
“In this regard, the organising of political campaign and gathering is obviously a major concern which even the prime minister himself has personally experienced and witnessed for himself during the recent Sabah state election where, notwithstanding the SOPs were in place, they were nonetheless not completely foolproof or, strictly followed by those who were present,” he said.
In a statement issued today, Goh who is also the President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) also welcomed and supported the prime minister’s statement that, the government has no intention to reinstate Movement Control Order (MCO) or inter-state travel ban nationwide, citing that the nation would not be able to handle another economic crisis. Instead, the government would impose the Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) in places which have been identified as ‘red zone’.
Besides this, he also hoped the government could ramp up preventive measures including testing, quarantine, contact tracing and deploying more medical staff to better contain the outbreak in Sabah and Kedah, which have been recognised as the two most affected states in the country with 13 and 9 new clusters, respectively.
He also supported the prime minister’s announcement of allowing the Sabah state government to temporarily suspend schools in the six red zones in Sabah. This was also in line with the call made by FCAS earlier.
Meanwhile, Huazong has come up with a five-point proposal for the government’s consideration, as follows:
1. Not to hold nationwide or state elections.
2. If it is really unavoidable, then the relevant authorities must strive to ensure the Batu Sapi by election is conducted under proper and stringent SOP to effectively contain Covid-19 transmission during the election.
3. Ministry of Health to deploy more medical staff to reinforce containment of the outbreak in Sabah and Kedah.
4. To step up border patrols to better prevent illegal cross-border activities.
5. The government continues to focus on fighting the pandemic, and to allocate sufficient financial resources in the coming national Budget 2021, to the Ministry of Health especially, for it to ramp up its infrastructure and facilities to better contain the pandemic.