Sabah market closed after COVID-infected man joined politicians on campaign walkabout

Mohd Razlan Rafii in Sipitang on Sept. 20, 2020. Photos: @The_Mamu /Twitter
Mohd Razlan Rafii in Sipitang on Sept. 20, 2020. Photos: @The_Mamu /Twitter

A market in Sabah was forced to shut after a man who joined two politicians canvassing for votes there tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Sipitang market has been closed since yesterday after Sunday’s campaign walkabout ahead of the Sabah state elections. A note from the Sipitang District Council said the closure was due to the “presence of a COVID-positive case.”

“All shops and night markets here will be closed off from Sept. 21 until further notice,” the notice said. It did not mention the infected man, identified as Mohd Razlan Rafii, who is a council member of the United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO. 

Razlan was accompanying Kamarlin Ombi and Sani Miasin, who are contesting the Lumadan and Sindumin districts in Sipitang respectively. Razlan is now isolating at the Kota Kinabalu hospital awaiting new test results. 

Photos posted to Razlan’s Instagram account showed the 46-year-old walking around and speaking to people in close proximity without wearing a face mask. He has since removed those photos but screenshots of them have already been reshared elsewhere. Those who came in close contact with Razlan have been advised to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate themselves.

“Razlan has tested positive for COVID-19, yet he can still mingle in public without a mask,” Twitter user @The_Mamu wrote online.


More than a million Sabahans are expected to go to the polls for the state elections on Saturday. 

A total of 447 candidates began campaigning on Sept. 12. The two UMNO politicians will go against contenders from the Warisan party. 

Malaysia has recorded a total of 10,276 COVID-19 cases, with 57 new infections yesterday. The death toll stands at 130.


Notice from the Sipitang District Council
Notice from the Sipitang District Council

Other stories to check out:

What you need to know about the 2020 Sabah elections

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