Enhanced MCO will not stop elections, says Deputy CM

Tan Sri James Masing

By John Isaac

SARAWAKIANS will continue to exercise their democratic rights despite the possibility of another enhanced movement control order (Emco) in some areas of the state.

“If the Health Ministry wants EMCO to be enforced due to the spike of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak to protect the health of Sarawakians, so be it,” said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing.

He was commenting on whether the possibility of an EMCO would dampen election preparations.

Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-chairman Dr Michael Teo was reported to have said that the EMCO, if imposed, would mess up their ground preparations to face the state elections.

“We only have about three months to get ready for a snap election, which we hear, will be in November. If the Enhanced MCO is imposed, our ground election machinery will have to grind to a sudden stop,” Dr Teo was quoted by an online portal.

According to reports in the New Sarawak Tribune, Masing pointed out that Sarawak would not be the first to conduct an election during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that other countries such as Singapore and South Korea had conducted theirs recently.

He stressed that what was important was that instructions be given to Sarawakians to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) when casting their votes.

“The campaign period may need to be shortened and gathering of large number of people must be discouraged.”