KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to implement Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by the book for the 15th Melaka state election was not an attempt to jeopardise or weaken Umno, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Health Minister stressed that the decision was made to protect the people, the election machinery and the leadership of all parties involved from being infected with Covid-19, besides avoiding a sharp increase in positive cases of the disease as happened after the Sabah state election last year.
He said the decision also reflected that ministers from Umno were able to perform their duties well, including his own duties as Health Minister for the sake of pandemic management.
“During the Sabah state election, there was no vaccine yet and compliance with SOPs was very loose, leading to a sharp increase in cases. We wanted to prevent it from happening again, so I had to tighten the SOP and be firm. Whoever violates the SOP, we took action and I don’t think it impedes the party.
“I perform my duties as the Health Minister representing Umno. I want them (the people) to see this minister (from) Umno, who is at least doing his job well. That is what I should be evaluated on in terms of my work (as a minister),” he said.
He said this as a panelist of a special interview programme entitled ‘Dilema Covid dan Politik’ (‘Covid Dilemma and Politics’) which was broadcast live on Umno Online’s Facebook on Thursday (Dec 30) night.
At the Melaka polls, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Melaka Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh were each compounded RM10,000 for violating the election SOP when they conducting house-to-house campaign activities and were not wearing face masks. – Bernama