- Melakan locals petitioned authorities to postpone the elections, citing an increase in Covid-19 cases after the Sabah election in September last year.
- “We don’t need this at a time when we should be focusing on the economy and reviving the tourism industry. It’s not the right time for an election as the industry is just about to resuscitate,” – Head of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Melaka; Goh Hock Gin
Melakans Begging For Elections To Be Postponed Citing Fears Of Covid Outbreak Seen During Sabah 2020 Elections
Many individuals in the state are opposed to a state election because it may lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases.
They said that it could have an impact on social and economic activity in Melaka, which is now under Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
They petitioned authorities to postpone the elections, citing an increase in Covid-19 cases after the Sabah election in September last year.
Goh Hock Gin, Head of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Melaka, said the election was unwarranted and urged politicians to understand the challenges that tourism businesses face.
“We don’t need this at a time when we should be focusing on the economy and reviving the tourism industry. It’s not the right time for an election as the industry is just about to resuscitate,” he said.
Once Melaka goes to the elections, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob warns that another Covid-19 outbreak, such as the one that occurred during the 2020 Sabah election, must be prevented.
“Because of the Sabah elections, we saw how Covid-19 cases went up”, PM Sabri saidProf Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, Universiti Utara Malaysia political lecturer, said “the Election Commission (EC) will have to come up with a strict standard operating procedure (SOP) to limit the gathering of people and ensure there are no ceramah. Campaigning can be allowed online only. We can also see the performance of the EC in conducting an election during the pandemic,” he said; as Covid-19 still poses a threat to Malaysia.
“Many countries in the world have conducted elections during Covid-19 and as long as people comply with the SOP, it will be fine. You can’t run away from elections. It’s democracy,” Prof Dr Sani echoed.
Malaysia Budget Hotel Association’s (MyBHA) Melaka chapter president Sazali Sabri said he hoped the election would not be held for now.
“A majority of the members disagree with holding a snap election as it would be a disadvantage to the hospitality industry. We don’t want to witness another Sabah episode here,” he added. He went on to say that the budget hotel operators hope to reopen during Phase Three of the NRP.
Melaka recorded 200 Covid-19 cases yesterday, with 88.5 percent of the state’s adult population fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.
Hotelier Dennis Samford warned that if the election took place, the number of Covid-19 cases would rise. “We don’t care if Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, Aldy Zahari or Datuk Seri Idris Haron is made chief minister – as long as the impasse is resolved without elections,” he said.
source - viator
Zaiton Sidek, vice-president of the Melaka Youth Coalition Council, voiced concern that a rise in Covid-19 cases would impede different activities, particularly for youth. “There are many youth activities we had already planned, but were delayed during the pandemic, especially when the movement control order was enforced,” she said.
Chew Chert Fong, a businessman, also opposed a state election. “Please understand the predicament faced by the business community now.” He went on to say that another wave of Covid-19 cases will impact even more businesses.
Ganatheran, a businessman, petitioned Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Dr Mohd Ali Rustam to resolve the situation.
He added, “We appeal to him to use his wisdom and resolve the impasse without the need for us to go to the ballot box.”