Catastrophe to hold Sarawak elections now – former health min

By S. Harrish

FORMER health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said it will be a “catastrophe” if Sarawak decides to hold its state elections soon.

Dzulkefly twitted that while Malaysia was on the verge of a third wave of Covid-19 infections, there should not be plans to hold an election.

The recent Sabah state polls saw the number of Covid-19 cases rising dramatically as many from the peninsula were in Sabah to help in the campaigning.

Some of those returning have tested positive for the virus and they have been blamed for the surge.

“Truly hope he is not serious or misquoted”, he said in his tweet, referring to reports that Sarawak may hold its polls anytime from now.

“Four digit active cases again, as in April to June! Politicians, in bi-partisan way, must act responsibly and mitigate the catastrophe,” he added.

Yesterday, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg said the state elections would be held “any time from now”.

Meanwhile, a former health systems and policies specialist at Universiti Malaya, Dr Khor Swee Kheng, said Malaysia must not hold elections unless it can fulfil three criteria.

According to a FreeMalaysiaToday report, it must be ensured that the health ministry has adequate support and safeguard the safety of travellers and voters.

Khor said politicians should act responsibly during campaigns and quarantines, with visible punishments for those breaking the rules.

“Otherwise, all election talk is irresponsible,” said Khor.

The health ministry yesterday reported 317 new Covid-19 cases, the highest ever number of cases in a single day.