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No to snap polls in Melaka, says MMA

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has expressed its strong objection to snap polls in Melaka as the country is still at the preliminary of stage of Covid-19 transitioning from pandemic to endemic.

Its president Dr Koh Kar Chai in a statement said although a high percentage of the population in the country had already been vaccinated against the virus, cases of people contracting Covid-19 were still high.

"Daily active cases are more than 100,000 with the daily fatalities above 100. Aren't these sobering numbers to the politicians who are clamouring for an election to be held?

"Having a state election now would be akin to the saying: out of the frying pan and into the fire!

"For a long time, deaths from severe Covid-19 were in the hundreds almost daily. Many children became orphans and women widows due to the dreaded disease.

"There are many people suffering from long Covid, with some tethered to oxygen concentrators for God knows how long. Do we want to add on to the numbers?" he asked.

Dr Koh also lashed out at politicians who were responsible for triggering the political crisis as "selfish and irresponsible".

"Will the selfish politicians ever learn?

"They are being selfish and irresponsible, that's how one can describe politicians who decided to put themselves above the nation and stir the political pot at this time when the nation is seemingly on the road to recovery from the pandemic.

"Many say that we are in this current sad state of affairs because of the Sabah state election, which sparked a chain of rapid virus transmission," he said.

Medical frontliners, he said, had also been battling the pandemic for close to two years, with many of them having their annual leave frozen.

Many of them also had to stay out of their homes after their shift, or refrained from returning home after work, as they were scared of bringing the virus back to their loved ones.

"Have we forgotten the fallen heroes from among the medical and non-medical frontliners?

"Life has never been normal for the medical frontliners who face a never-ending stream of Covid-19 patients coming into the hospitals, Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre and Covid-19 Assessment Centres," he said.

He noted that the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (NIP) had only started to bring some reprieve to the exhausted frontliners.

Dr Koh also questioned what had happened to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Transformation and Political Stability signed between the Government and the opposition.

"What happened to the truce that was called by politicians from opposing sides and their pledge to work together for the sake of the people?

"As far as the medical fraternity is concerned, we are dead against a state election at this time, at least until the current situation returns to near normal," he said.

Melaka descended into a political crisis after four government assemblymen withdrew their support for Lendu assemblyman Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, Chief Minister of the then Barisan Nasional (BN) state government.

The action of the four, who switched their support for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the state, led to Sulaiman losing the majority support and the fall of the state administration under his leadership.

Sulaiman then proposed for the dissolution of the state legislative assembly, which was consented by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka Tun Mohd Ali Rustam.

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