KUCHING, Dec 7 — Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen today alleged that the standard operating procedures (SOP) the Election Commission (EC) for the state election heavily favoured the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
He claimed the SOP was not for the purpose of reducing Covid-19 infections in the state, but to manipulate the election to the advantage of the GPS.
“In the course of implementing the SOP, the GPS government through Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is putting priority of their political interest over the lives and health of Sarawakians in general,” he told reporters at the state DAP headquarters here.
“Firstly, in this SOP it says there will be no ceramah in 18 urban areas, but it is allowed in 64 rural seats where Internet services are poor.
“It seems that the lives of the rural people are not important and they are subjected to the spread of the virus since SDMC allows them to attend the ceramahs,” Chong, who is contesting in the urban Padungan seat, said.
Moreover, he pointed out that the ceramah in these 64 seats could be held indoors where Covid-19 was spread easily.
He questioned how poor Internet connectivity was an acceptable reason, saying this would have meant students in the 64 areas did not have access to online classes forced as a result of school closures.
“That is shocking,” he said. “That is why I said the SOP is not to contain the spread of Covid-19, but to contain the Opposition parties in the election campaigns.”
He also alleged that the SOP was not drafted by the EC, but by SDMC,
“The national SOP is drafted by the Ministry of Health, but in the case of Sarawak, it is always drafted by SDMC,” he said.