During the Johor state election, a woman was given a fine of RM1,000 for showing up at the polling centre to cast her vote despite still being under Covid-19 quarantine.
Following the incident, the Health Ministry (KKM) and the Election Commission (EC) is now working together to develop a protocol that will enable Covid-19 patients to vote in the 15th General Election.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that voting is a constitutional right of every citizen and nobody should be denied the right to cast their vote.
“Covid-19 will stay with us. If we deny them of their rights (positive voters) to vote, we are denying a constitutional right,” Khairy said.
In a press conference today (21 March), Khairy said several methods are being discussed before the new guideline can be finalised.
“Some said let those infected with Covid-19 to use postal vote but how would it be for those who were 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 …so this matter needs more time,” he said.
When being asked when the government plans to hold the next general election, Khairy said the ministry will find the most suitable timing and period of lowest risk to hold GE15, as it involves the whole nation coming out to vote.
Meanwhile, he said that KKM is now studying to detect the effects of the Covid-19 Omicron BA.2 variant in the country.
“Now we are facing Omicron BA.2 and its effects on a single case and serious impact are being studied so that we can conclude if we are heading towards a pandemic,” he said.
Previously, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was reported as saying that they will not delay even a second if UMNO is confident of winning the general election.