PM wants study on possible postponement of Batu Sapi polls amid COVID-19
KUALA LUMPUR,. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has asked the relevant authorities to study the legal aspects regarding the possibility of postponing the Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The prime minister said he asked the Election Commission (EC) and Attorney-General’s Chambers to look into this at the special meeting of the National Security Council (MKN) today, where, among others, the Batu Sapi by-election standard operating procedure (SOP) was tabled.
“This by-election is viewed as difficult to be held when the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging in Sabah now,” he said in his Facebook posting.
Muhyiddin said the MKN meeting was also given an update on the latest COVID-19 situation in the country, which he described as still at a worrying level and should not be allowed to persist.
In this connection, he had directed the MKN to immediately review whether social activities should be allowed to continue at this moment, apart from the need to tighten the SOP on inter-district and interstate travel.
The Batu Sapi seat fell vacant following the death of its Member of Parliament Datuk Liew Vui Keong of Warisan on Oct 2.
The EC has set Dec 5 for polling for the by-election, with nomination on Nov 23 and early voting on Dec 1.
“I was informed that InsyaAllah, MKN will table the findings of discussions from the COVID-19 Technical Committee on the SOP review at the MKN meeting tomorrow (Nov 5),” he added.
Muhyiddin also said he agreed with the Sarawak government’s suggestion to upgrade the COVID-19 testing facilities in the state.
”I agree with this proposal because it is projected that the existing facilities would not be able to cope with the many samples, and we must be prepared in terms of manpower and facilities for the possibility of a spike in positive COVID-19 cases,” he said.
“Alhamdulillah, the Sarawak government had held discussions earlier and will table the COVID-19 Preparation Plan for Sarawak at the MKN special meeting tomorrow,” he said.
The prime minister gave an assurance that all proposals to enhance the work process and preparations to manage and contain COVID-19 infection in the country would be given appropriate consideration by the government.
“All this is ultimately aimed at protecting the people of Malaysia from COVID-19 infection and ensuring that they can continue with life as normal,” he said.