KUALA LUMPUR, August 10 — Voters positive for Covid-19 are required to arrive at their polling station two hours before the end of polling times, according to Ministry of Health (MOH) protocols for the upcoming six state elections.
Health director-general Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said in a press statement today on MOH’s guidance for Covid-positive voters that this was aimed at reducing the risk of interaction with other voters.
The Election Commission (EC) has yet to release a statement on polling times for the six state polls in Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu, as well as the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election, all of which will be held this Saturday.
For the 15th general election last November, the EC advised voters to check recommended voting times on the MySPR Semak application, adding that polling times were between 8am and 6pm in the peninsula.
It’s unclear if these polling times will be used for the August 12 state elections and the Kuala Terengganu by-election. In the November 2022 general election, some voters complained about the early closure of certain polling centres, as early as 2pm.
“Covid-19 positive voters are also reminded not to use public transport and are required to wear a face mask the entire time while at the polling station, except during identification that requires the face mask to be removed when at the polling station,” said Dr Muhammad Radzi.
MOH’s voting guidelines stated that Covid-positive voters aged 18 and above will receive a message via the MySejahtera application starting today till August 12, informing them that they will need to contact the district health office (PKD) or the health officer nearest to their polling station before they come out to vote.
“The purpose of informing them is to ensure that health officers in the involved districts are prepared to manage Covid-19 patients at the polling centres,” said Dr Muhammad Radzi.
Covid-positive voters are also advised to practise physical distancing throughout their time at the polling station, especially when they are required to remove their masks when in front of the poll worker for identification.
Upon casting their ballot, Covid-positive voters must immediately leave the polling station and resume self-isolation till the end of their Home Surveillance Order (HSO) period.
Covid-19 patients receiving treatment in hospitals are allowed to be discharged from hospital at their own risk to vote, so long as they comply with the established procedures.
“However, the hospital will not provide transportation, and patients are to use their own vehicles to go to the polling station,” said the Health DG.
“Covid-19 positive patients must continue self-isolation till the end of the HSO period at their residence or at the designated place of isolation as soon as they are done voting.”
The MOH advised all voters to always maintain physical distance, sanitise their hands, and wear a face mask. This is especially for voters with symptoms or are in a closed, narrow, or crowded space. Malaysians are also encouraged to get booster vaccination against Covid-19.
The 15th state elections for Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu will be held this Saturday, involving 3,450 polling stations. The Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election will also be held on the same day.
All Malaysians aged 18 and above are automatically eligible to vote; they do not need to register to cast their ballots.