The Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar at a news conference after the launch of Clinical Research Malaysia Annual Report (CRM) 2021 at the Ministry of Health in Putrajaya. PIX: AMIRUL SHAUFIQ / MalaysiaGazette / 21 MARCH 2022. EC voting for Covid-19 patients
The Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar

By Shawaliah Hadir

PUTRAJAYA – The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be having a discussion with the Election Commission (EC) on the preparation of protocols for individuals infected by Covid-19 to vote during the coming General Election (GE).

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said, a safe protocol must be drafted so that the voting rights of all citizens, including those positive of Covid-19 would not be denied.

“I have requested the health officers to discuss with the EC on the safest protocols to enable those tested positive of Covid-19 to vote.

“We must accept that Covid-19 would remain forever in the community. We should not deny their rights to vote. In Johor, we can understand because we haven’t provided a safe protocol.

“I told my officers that the Covid-19 will always be here. If we deny the rights of positive patients to vote, we are denying their constitutional rights,” he said when met after the launch of the Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) Annual Report 2021 and the Phase 1 Realisation Project (P1RP) today.

He added, the discussion will include how Covid-19 patients can vote safely without causing infection.

“So, we are thinking of the safest way for the positive patients to vote. Some said, postal votes but what if they are infected one or two days before the polling date?

“If there are people to pick them up, which channel, do we provide a specific channel for the Covid-19 patients,” he said.

Speaking further, Khairy said that the protocol preparation may take some time to ensure that the public health is not neglected.

“I am not saying that we delay the GE. As an UMNO member, I understand political consideration but as a person in the government, I must also think about that.

“The most important thing is not merely political demands but safety,” he said, adding that the best time for an election is when the risk of Covid-19 infection is at its lowest. -MalaysiaGazette