KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has called on the government to postpone the March 12 Johor state election given the increasing number of daily Covid-19 cases related to the Omicron variant.
If the government refuses to postpone the state polls, the PH presidential council said those contesting in the election should be allowed to campaign openly including holding ‘ceramahs (physical talks)’.
“The presidential council views the Covid-19 Omicron variant wave seriously which reached the 17,000 mark yesterday.
“To ensure that this situation is not being used as a political tool by anybody, the government must consider postponing the Johor state election.
“If the government refuses to postpone it and wishes to provide campaign relaxations like in some western countries, then those contesting should be allowed to campaign openly and this includes holding ‘ceramahs’.
“One thing for sure is that a total lockdown cannot be implemented again as it has been proven to fail before,” PH leaders said in a joint statement today.
The statement was signed by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
Yesterday, the country recorded an overwhelming 17,134 new Covid-19 cases, according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Also yesterday, the Election Commission (EC) fixed March 12 as the polling day for the Johor state election while early voting will be on March 8, and nomination day on Feb 26.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin recently said the Johor state polls could proceed despite the emergence of the Omicron variant, saying that those infected with it did not show severe symptoms as compared to those who suffered from the Delta variant.