Sarawak polls date will depend on Covid-19 situation, says CM

Abang Johari (seated centre) flanked by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (left) and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi at the press conference. – Picture from New Sarawak Tribune

By John Isaac

THE timing of the Sarawak state election will hinge on the Covid-19 circumstances and the readiness of the Election Commission (EC) to implement new norm practises.

“Covid-19 will decide (when the state election is held) because the health of the people is more important than the election,” said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this during a press conference at the Samarahan Division ‘Leader with the People’ session at Kota Samarahan Civic Centre, after attending the State Development Coordination Committee meeting for Samarahan Division.

“Our first priority is health, second is our constitutional decision.”

According to the New Sarawak Tribune, he said this reflected the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government’s concern and care for the health of the people.

In the event that the state election was to be held, he said he would have to consult experts such as the Ministry of Health (MoH) for its advice as to whether holding the state election would be feasible.

“The government will monitor and see what is the best solution. Why should you rush? People’s lives are more important,” said Abang Johari.

He said he had requested the EC to establish the standard operating procedure (SOP) as they had to be ready in the event of the state election.

At the same time, he said the state election is inevitable but its date is still undetermined now.

Earlier, various quarters had expressed concern over holding the state election in light of the worsening Covid-19 situation nationwide.