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Melaka folk relieved at restrictions on activities

MELAKA: The Health Ministry’s move to prohibit all election-related activities, rallies and social gatherings with effect from yesterday until Nov 27 has been warmly received by communities in the state.

The ban alleviates the general anxiety that the run-up to the Melaka state election will cause Covid-19 outbreaks and rob communities of their newfound “liberties”.

It is not just political parties which must adhere to the announcement that bans a litany of events in launching of election machinery and rallies, as the people are also wary of leaders’ past reluctance to comply with the prohibitions.

A private sector employee from Klebang, Saadiah Ismail, 36, said a stricter standard operating procedure is vital to ensure that the safety and health of citizens are not compromised.

“We have seen from mass media, video and photographs on how a venue gets congested whenever a political leader goes to the ground. The party machinery is also by no means small, and they come from within and outside Melaka.

“I believe full compliance with the SOP is unlikely to be observed properly going by the frenzy to campaign and attract voters. The prohibitions are most timely and befitting,” she told Bernama.

Concurring with Saadiah, restaurateur Muhammad Ismail Rahmad, 44, said he couldn’t agree more with the ministry’s move, and insisted that besides political leaders, citizens, too, must observe the SOP to prevent outbreaks in the state.

“Citizens have made a big sacrifice and endured misery due to Covid-19, and should there be an outbreak due to the Melaka election, it will have a more adverse effect on citizens,” he said.

Housewife Afidah Musa, 36, from Cheng, said lessons should be learned from the Sabah state election last year.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Melaka chapter chairman Goh Hock Gin said the Melaka election posed a huge risk of another mass Covid-19 outbreak, and called for a special SOP to be put in place.

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