Covid-19 will worsen 10-fold if polls held during pandemic, warns think tank

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PETALING JAYA: A think tank has warned against holding snap polls amid the worsening Covid-19 situation, saying it will result in dire consequences for the country during a highly communicable disease pandemic

Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy chief executive Azrul Mohd Khalib said the country was still struggling with the consequences of last year’s Sabah election.

Strong criticisms have come in for parties pushing for an election during the pandemic, though some, like Umno’s Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, had said it is more important to elect a stable new government to handle the situation.

“We have to acknowledge the fact that Malaysia is unable to organise large-scale elections which enable voters to safely participate in campaign activities and cast their votes during a communicable disease pandemic,” Azrul said in a statement.

Galen chief executive Azrul Mohd Khalib.

He said Malaysia’s third wave, which could be traced to last September after the Sabah polls, showed no signs of improving.

“In recent days, the health ministry has announced not only record-high daily Covid-19 numbers but also expressed alarm at the increasing number of deaths.

“These conditions are likely to worsen 10-fold in the aftermath of a general election.”

He said this was because rules were likely to be selectively observed or ignored altogether while postal voting is not yet an option.

“If there is a need to settle political differences and decide once and for all who has the support of the people and should be the government of the day, the question should be resolved in Parliament, ” said Azrul.

He said this would ensure any threat of infection is managed and controlled compared to a general election which would put the wider public at risk.

 

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