In absence of emergency, Sarawak decides to proceed with state polls

Abang Johari says he will leave it to the Election Commission to learn from Singapore, New Zealand and South Korea on how to hold elections during the pandemic.

LUNDU: Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today said the Sarawak government will proceed with the 12th Sarawak state election following the King’s decision not to allow Putrajaya to declare a state of emergency.

He added that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will seek a fresh mandate from the people before June next year.

“Since there’s no emergency, the Sarawak government will continue to operate as usual but our mandate is about to end.

“So, we don’t have any other option but to seek the support of the people again with the state polls,” he told reporters after launching an artificial reef ball programme.

Abang Johari said the Election Commission (EC) can learn from the elections in Singapore, New Zealand and South Korea, which were held during the pandemic without causing any spike in Covid-19 cases.

He said he will also keave it to the EC to implement the stringent SOPs necessary to ensure the Sarawak state elections will not worsen the Covid-19 situation in the state and country.

The recent Sabah polls had been seen by many quarters as being the cause of the major spike in Covid-19 cases across the state as well as in the peninsula over the past two months.

Abang Johari also said Sarawak was grateful for the King’s advice to politicians to stop their politicking as it could disrupt the stability of the country’s administration.

“We must stay united to battle against Covid-19,” he said.

When asked about Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s meeting with MPs and Cabinet colleagues this morning, Abang Johari said it was just a “normal meeting”.

“Yes, we (GPS) have Fadillah Yusof there,” he said, referring to the works minister.