KUCHING: Going on the hustings has taken a whole new meaning with the ever present threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in this election.
Politicians like nothing more than making physical contact on their campaign trail, stopping to say hello , stretching out to shake hands and literally finding face time with just about everyone in their pitch for votes.
But with physical campaigning prohibited under Covid-19 conditions, they are improvising and GPS-SUPP candidate Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, for instance, is deploying a war truck to do the job. Seriously.
Equipped with loudspeakers and other multimedia devices, the truck was launched on Tuesday (Dec 7) by the SUPP president who is defending his Batu Kawah seat.
The yellow truck launched outside the Batu Kawah Service Centre adorns SUPP’s bumblebee mascot, and bears the words ‘N14 Batu Kawah, With You, For you, Majulah Batu Kawah’.
Voters in the constituency can expect the Sim campaign to roll into their neighbourhood as the campaign fever hots up.
In this election Sim is facing a four-cornered fight against DAP candidate Dr Kelvin Yii, Chai Kueh Khun of PBK and Fong Pau Teck of Aspirasi.
Under the Election Commission’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) for this election candidates are allowed to campaign through vehicles fitted with loudspeakers or multimedia devices at a time specified in permits.
However, these vehicles are not allowed to stop along the route for the delivery of talks.
The SOPs also advice candidates to utilise media platforms and other applications as a tool to deliver their campaign.
But physical talks and public speeches are allowed in state constituencies that do not have good internet access.
The exception applies to 64 state constituencies that have poor 4G coverage namely Opar, Tasik Biru, Tanjong Datu, Asajaya, Muara Tuang, Stakan, Serembu, Mambong, Tarat, Tebedu, Kedup, Bukit Semuja, Sadong Jaya, Simunjan, Gedong, Sebuyau, Lingga, Beting Maro, Balai Ringin, Bukit Begunan, Simanggang, Engkilili, Batang Ai, Saribas, Layar and Bukit Saban.
Other state constituencies include Kalaka, Krian, Kabong, Kuala Rajang, Semop, Daro, Jemoreng, Repok, Meradong, Pakan, Meluan, Ngemah, Machan, Dudong, Bawang Assan, Dalat, Telian, Balingian, Tamin, Kakus, Pelagus, and Katibas.