DAP today indicated that it would not contest any by-election in Gerik, the parliamentary seat in Perak made vacant by the death of its incumbent Hasbullah Osman yesterday.
“There should be a pause to political electioneering until the danger and risks posed by Covid-19 are over,” DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said.
Hasbullah, who was an Umno MP, died from a heart attack yesterday as he was travelling to Pahang after attending the Dewan Rakyat sitting.
Lim said Umno’s rivals should commit to sitting out any by-election which he added would spark a public health crisis as authorities battle a fresh wave of new Covid-19 infections.
“In recognition of his services and that Malaysia is in the grip of a severe third wave of Covid-19 infections, there should be no contest in the by-election by parties opposed to Umno,” he added.
“Public safety should come first and take priority over politicking and electioneering. The public cannot forget the spike in Covid-19 infections after Sabah was forced to conduct general elections after irresponsible money politics and attempted buying of assemblymen to take away the people’s right to choose their own state government.”
DAP had similarly called for political parties to allow Warisan to keep the Batu Sapi seat, following the death of its MP, Liew Vui Keong, just days after the Sabah election.
The state-wide polls were blamed for a spike in cases nationwide, as top health officials in Putrajaya were already pleading with politicians not to allow elections, saying SOPs and other measures were not enough to stop new clusters.
Former prime minister Najib Razak and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang have both said political parties should not vie for the Batu Sapi seat.