Hold off Sarawak polls although emergency ends in Aug – GPS MP

By S. Harrish

THE Sarawak election should not be held this year even though the emergency ends in August, said two Sarawak parliamentarians in Dewan Rakyat today.

Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni said the state was not ready for an election although up to 70 per cent of Sarawak’s population would have been vaccinated by then.

The GPS MP said lessons should be learned from the Sabah state election which had created multiple Covid-19 clusters nationwide.

According to a NST report, Lukanisman said it should be a reminder to all that an election during the pandemic was a bad idea.

“Many of us here lost someone, a friend, teacher, mother, father, siblings. This is something we actually witnessed.

“Just now I heard the emergency ordinance has been revoked and I am now worried that after Aug 1, the Sarawak state assembly will be automatically dissolved, which means we have to prepare for an election within 60 days.

“Sarawak’s vaccination process is doing well so far but we are not ready for a state election in the next 60 days,” he said during a clarification session in parliament after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin spoke on the National Recovery Plan.

When suggested by Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen that Sarawak should be placed under a targeted emergency without affecting the whole country, Lukanisman agreed, saying people’s lives should be the priority.

Should the government insist on holding the election soon, Lukanisman urged for the Election Commission to come up with a detailed SOP for voters to ensure their safety.

“Our vaccination process is really good but it doesn’t mean we would want to simply open up our state for an election.

“Last year, one person from Johor who entered Sarawak sparked the Pasai cluster. This happened following last year’s Sabah state election and it created many clusters,” he said.