Thursday, December 2, 2021

Election season during the pandemic age

Parties and candidates deal with the challenges of campaigning under tight health SOPs ahead of an uncertain voter turnout on Nov 20.

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Officers from the Election Commission make final preparations at the Ayer Keroh nomination centre on Nov 7, ahead of nomination day on Nov 8.

On nomination day itself, the atmosphere is quiet with enforcement officers monitoring the situation at centres to ensure strict compliance with SOPs.

Screening counters are set up under tents at nomination centres where candidates must check their temperatures and scan the MySejahtera code before entering the hall.

An election officer checks the temperature of a candidate at the nomination centre for the Paya Rumput state seat at Stadium Hang Jebat.

Election Commission chairman Abdul Ghani Salleh speaks at a press conference reminding candidates and their parties of the dos and don’ts throughout the campaign period.

A volunteer puts up Pakatan Harapan flags near a traffic light along Jalan Tanjung Kling.

A Perikatan Nasional flag is seen through the window of a car in Jalan Tanjung Kling.

A motorcyclist drives past billboards featuring the faces of candidates, beneath which the flags of various coalitions have been placed.

The red and dark blue of Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional flags blow in the breeze as a woman cycles past.

A volunteer carries a Barisan Nasional flag to be placed alongside others at the side of the road.

A man puts up the flags of Pakatan Harapan and its component party PKR.

Posters reading ‘Hawau’ are plastered over a signboard in Asahan, a reference to PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim and the four assemblymen whose withdrawal of support for the chief minister gave rise to the state election.

Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Perikatan Nasional’s candidate for Tanjung Bidara, peers out from behind banners showing her face alongside that of the coalition’s chairman Muhyiddin Yassin.

Rickshaw pullers eager to cash in on the election period as well as the government’s green light for interstate travel ferry visitors in trishaws decorated with lights and posters informing customers that they have been fully vaccinated.

A rickshaw puller in Melaka waits for tourists at his trishaw decorated with lights and Spiderman soft toys.

A fisherman carries equipment past a small army of flags put up at the beach in Pantai Padang Kemunting, Tanjung Bidara.

A Perikatan Nasional flag flies in the breeze alongside flags bearing the logo of its component party Bersatu.

Trucks with LED billboards showing the faces of various candidates and political leaders wait in traffic. With physical campaigning off limits for the Melaka election, candidates are turning to methods such as this to gain traction with voters.

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