The health ministry has recommended to the Election Commission (EC) several SOPs for the 15th general election (GE15), to ensure it is a "Covid-19 safe election".
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said with the country's Covid-19 situation under control, his ministry was of the view that some restrictions imposed during the previous state elections could be relaxed, including the wearing of face masks and the right to vote for individuals who test positive for Covid-19.
"The health ministry has prepared recommendations so that more flexibility is given and candidates are free to meet, political parties are free to give speeches and there are no restrictions as before so that the democratic process can be carried out more fairly for all.
"The same goes for the right to vote for individuals who test positive for Covid-19, who are in isolation at home, not critical, they can vote... perhaps the voting route is different, alternative tents, always wear a face mask, so their rights are respected," he said after officiating an event at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.
Khairy also said his ministry had taken voting rights into consideration before making recommendations to the EC as these are enshrined in the constitution.
He added that any recommendations given to the EC also take into account the interests of the public, so that they are not harmed by the presence of Covid-19 patients.
Asked whether the decision on the SOPs was valid considering that he was part of the caretaker government, Khairy said the matter had been discussed before the dissolution of Parliament.
"We have discussed it with the EC and they will finalise it this week. Any decision that is of public interest can be made, and this is for the public interest.
"After all, this directive was made before Parliament was dissolved. We think far ahead at the health ministry," he said.
On flood preparations, Khairy said the ministry had identified 11,085 public health personnel to be assigned to help flood victims at temporary evacuation centres (PPS) nationwide.
These include medical, health and mental health or psychosocial teams.
"We have identified them, and they already know their respective duties because for the past two years, we have been preparing for the monsoon season. We have done this based on states, and even simulations have been carried out.
"There are many deployments in areas of states that often face floods such as Johor, Kelantan, the east coast states and Sarawak, so our deployments are more based on the risk mapping that we do," he said.