Relax SOP to ensure fair Sarawak polls, EC told

Relax SOP to ensure fair Sarawak polls, EC told

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) has been asked to relax the Sarawak State Election standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure that the holding of “clean, free and fair election” is not curbed on the specious ground of preventing the spread of Covid-19 infection.

Everybody agrees that in the Sarawak general election, everyone must not take their eyes off from the Covid-19 pandemic and must do everything possible to prevent Covid-19 infections, but this should not be used as an excuse to prevent the holding of a “clean, free and fair” election, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said today.

“It is on these grounds that I disagree with some of the SOPs for the Sarawak general election which had been announced.

“For instance, there is no reason for limiting inter-state travel for campaign to five top leaders of a party, which is to curb ‘clean, free and fair’ election rather than to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection,” Lim said in a statement.

There is also no justification to confine ceramahs to 64 named constituencies on the ground of “poor internet access”, he pointed out.

“What is important is to comply with Covid-19 SOPs to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections and not whether there is internet access or not.

“If the named 60 constituencies can hold ceramahs if they comply with the Covid-19 SOPs, there is no reason why all constituencies cannot hold ceramahs if the Covid-19 SOPs are similarly complied with – unless the reason is to help particular political parties by giving them an unfair advantage in the Sarawak general election in the balance of the 22 constituencies through methods which are the very opposite of ‘clean, free and fair’ election,” the Iskandar Puteri MP added.

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