KUCHING, July 31 ― Sarawak may still be able to hold a state election this year if it can flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.
He said that the extension of Emergency in the state from August 2 to February 2, 2022 by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was based on the advice of the Health Ministry, Election Commission, police and army due to the possible spike in Covid-19 cases.
However, he said that should Sarawak be able to flatten the curve of Covid-19 within the next few weeks, the government can advise the King to lift the Emergency and the 12th State Election (PRN12) can take place.
“Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) needs to get the mandate from the people of Sarawak to administer this state for the next five years.
“Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg needs to get his own mandate to be the Chief Minister of Sarawak, the sooner the better; but without endangering the health of Sarawakians.
“I am quite confident with stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) we can hold general election without endangering the public’ health,” he said today in reaction to the King’s decree.
The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said the spike in Covid-19 cases in Sabah due to their last state polls was a “lesson learnt” and “not a lesson followed”.
He noted that other nations like Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea and USA had held elections during the Covid-19 pandemic without devastating impact on the population.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in a Federal Government Gazette last night decreed that Sarawak be placed under a Proclamation of Emergency From August 2, 2021, to February 2, 2022.
The proclamation has prevented the state election from being held within 60 days from the expiry of the current nationwide Emergency on Monday.
The gazette, sighted by The Borneo Post, dated July 30, 2022, said the King was satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby security, economic life and public order was threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic. ― Borneo Post