The Election Commission (EC) today announced additional SOPs for the upcoming election in Johor, allowing ceramahs or talks to be held at the official premises of parties with attendance capped at 100 people or 50% of the venue’s capacity.
The additional SOPs which are effective immediately were made on the views of the health ministry and National Security Council (NSC).
Any ceramahs held must adhere to the SOPs requiring physical distancing and the use of face masks, while the 100-person limit includes the organisers and speakers.
“Ceramahs are not allowed to continue past midnight,” the EC said in a statement, adding that outdoor ceramahs remain prohibited.
At the three state elections before this, ceramahs at party premises and house-to-house campaigns were off limits.
Parties were also told to utilise social media for their campaigns to prevent the gathering of crowds, as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
National Recovery Council chairman Muhyiddin Yassin had several times suggested a review of the SOPs for the Johor election on March 12, describing them as “quite tight and not very practical”.
“It’s quite strict as ceramahs can only be held at one place (such as) the operations room, so it’s not as if everyone in Johor can come there. For example, the (distance between) Bukit Permai constituency and this (Felda) village is quite far,” he had said.
“It is not practical… when social gatherings, wedding receptions are allowed, what is the difference then… If a single constituency has 30,000 voters, how (are we) to get in touch with them?”