PETALING JAYA: Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 has called for careful consideration towards any quarantine on those returning to the peninsula from Sabah, saying such a measure may discourage voters from casting their votes on Sept 26.
The group’s steering committee said in a statement that voters will also incur additional costs in paying for food and lodging during the quarantine, besides the cost of their flight tickets.
“We call on the health minister and National Security Council to give careful consideration before imposing a 14-day quarantine on all returnees from Sabah, given that the outbreaks in Lahad Datu and Tawau are confined to prisons there.
“If needed, the EC should tighten further the SOPs for the conduct of the elections in Lahad Datu and Tawau in order to ensure the outbreak there is well-contained,” they said.
Bersih 2.0 also said besides the voters, politicians, party workers, Election Commission officials, workers as well as NGO observers will also be affected by the proposed mandatory quarantine.
Earlier today, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said the ministry is studying whether to impose a mandatory quarantine on those coming back to the peninsula from Sabah after the state election.
There has been a surge in new Covid-19 infections, with 182 cases reported yesterday involving 181 local infections and one imported case.
The Covid-19 cases in Sabah, involving the Benteng LD Cluster, recorded 250 cases, with 167 new cases recorded yesterday.
Bersih 2.0 also said the EC needed to provide postal voting for those who cannot travel home to vote due to work or studies.
“We call on the EC to give us a definite road map for the implementation of postal voting for all out-of-region voters. This must be done before the next federal and state elections, and especially before the upcoming Sarawak state election,” it said.