Possible To Hold General Election After 50 Pct Population Vaccinated Kj
Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin suggested that it might be possible for a general election to be held once half of the population has been inoculated.
In an interview with Channel News Asia (CNA) ahead of today's National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme roll-out, the minister said this could be as early as September.
"If we deliver on an effective immunisation programme and you've got a decent coverage, say 50 to 60 percent of the population, and the Health director-general (Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) feels that things are under control, then perhaps that's the right time.
"It's not impossible to imagine it could take place sometime this year... by September at the earliest," he added.
Previously, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had given his assurance to return the mandate to the people once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
Muhyiddin's statement came after several lawmakers, such as Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, publicly called for polls.
Malaysia is now operating under an emergency proclamation that was announced in January. The emergency has resulted in the suspension of the Parliament and state assembly sittings, a decision which infuriated many lawmakers of both sides.
The emergency can last up to August, but it could be lifted early based on advice to the king from the special committee on the emergency.
Critics had accused Muhyiddin of exploiting the emergency to remain in power after several lawmakers within the government withdrew their support for him.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah today had expressed his view that Parliament can convene during the emergency on a date deemed suitable by the ruler based on the prime minister's advice.
Earlier today, Muhyiddin and Noor Hisham were among the first Malaysians to be inoculated in the first phase of the programme which will focus on the frontliners.
In the CNA interview, Khairy, who is also the science minister, shared that he targets immunizing 150,000 people per day by June when the programme enters its third phase.
"Every country is doing this for the first time and on a scale that's unimaginable. In Malaysia, we are talking about vaccinating more than 23 million people this year.
"I want to finish it by December this year, and that we need to hit a peak of about 150,000 or 160,000 a day... provided we have the supplies," he said. - Mkini
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