The health ministry is holding discussions with the Election Commission (EC) on the development of a safe protocol for voters with Covid-19 to cast their ballots in the 15th general election (GE15), its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
“Covid-19 will stay with us. If we deny them (positive voters) their right to vote, we are denying a constitutional right,” he said in a press conference after launching the annual report of Clinical Research Malaysia 2021 and the Phase 1 Realisation Project report in Putrajaya.
During the Johor state election on March 12, a voter was fined RM1,000 for showing up to vote despite being under quarantine for Covid-19.
Khairy said the health ministry and EC were thinking of the best measures for Covid-19 positive voters.
“Some say let those infected with Covid-19 use postal votes, but how would it be for those who are infected one or two days before polling day?
“If they wish to vote, who is going to take them or which channel to use? Should we have a special channel for Covid-19 patients… this matter needs more time,” he added.
Khairy said public health should be the priority when discussing GE15 and when it will be held.
“We need to find the most suitable timing and period of lowest risk to hold GE15 as it involves the people going out to campaign and vote,” he said.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob previously said that dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for GE15 would be discussed among the “Top Five” in Umno, adding that if Umno was confident of winning, it would not delay, “not even for a second”.
Khairy alos said that his ministry was studying the effects of the Omicron BA.2 variant in the country.
“Now we are facing Omicron BA.2 and its effects on a single case. Any serious impact is being studied so that we can conclude if we are heading towards a pandemic,” he said.