KUCHING: The Election Commission (EC) need to revise its strategy for upcoming elections to ensure the safety of voters, said National Council of Professors (MPN) senior fellow Dr Jeniri Amir.
He said, taking cues from Singapore and South Korea, both of which held their elections during Covid-19, several changes could be made to EC’s conventional election method.
“In South Korea, they have mixed the conventional strategy with new strategies. While they still distributed campaign flyers, they also moved their campaign online through social media.
“In Singapore, they had extended the voting period on polling day starting from 8am to 10pm and allocated the time between 8am to 12pm for the elderly aged 65 and above. Why can’t we adopt similar strategies?” he asked during an online interview with Borneo Channel on Saturday night (Jan 23).
Jeniri said the EC should also think of extending the current one-day voting to two days to prevent overcrowding and strictly enforce the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“We have to get out of the old norms to ensure that the voters can vote confidently. More importantly, we must also issue a voter guideline which was also implemented in Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand,” he said.
The academician also said the democratic rights of the people must be protected including their rights to vote.
“In South Korea, the persons under investigation (PUI) were allowed to vote and their rights not side lined —they too were allowed to vote under stringent SOPs at designated voting stations.
“The EC has to take these into account and they must do it seriously so that the practices and democratic principles of the nation are upheld.
“We can’t keep our minds closed, instead we must learn from other countries as only by doing that can we implement our upcoming elections,” he said.