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CM says Sarawak poll could be held under right conditions

KUCHING: Sarawak will seek the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on whether to proceed with the state election or otherwise.

Chief minister Abang Johari Openg said although the Emergency was not going to be extended, there were three things that needed to be considered.

“Three, as far as we are concerned, health is more important. We do not want that (election) to be the cause of this (worsening situation) as what had happened in Sabah,” he told reporters after officiating the launch of the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OUCCI) here today.

He was asked whether the state elections would be held soon with the lifting of the Emergency.

Abang Johari said, on the other hand, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) would also need a new mandate from the people in order to continue leading the state.

He said it would now be up to the strategic agencies such as the health ministry and the EC to weigh all the factors.

“So, just wait for what happens between one and two weeks. Once the Emergency ends, the election needs to be held within 60 days but we must make sure that the situation is conducive. In other words, when there is improvement in our Covid-19 situation or the people will be scared to come out to vote,” he added. FMT

CM says Sarawak poll could be held under right conditions

KUCHING — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said the state election could be held within 60 days from the end of Emergency on August 1 if three conditions were met.

“First, whether the Covid-19 situation in the state has improved based on the number of positive cases and secondly whether the Election Commission (EC) has completed the SOPs for the conduct of the election and what sorts of SOPs that the EC has decided,” he told reporters after launching the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

“Thirdly, as far as we are concerned, health is more important and we don’t want to be the cause of spreading Covid-19 as what happened to Sabah last year when it held its state election,” he said.

On the other hand, the chief minister said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalitions also needed a new mandate from the people to continue governing.

He said things would be clear in the next week or two.

“If the Emergency ends on August 1 as expected, then the state election must be held within 60 days. But we must make sure that the conditions are conducive,” he added.

He said there must be an improvement in the Covid-19 situation, adding that the people would vote if they were not afraid of being infected.

Asked about the status of the state assembly, he replied: “It is still there. But let us see between now and August 1.”

The term of the current state assembly expired on June 6, but due to the proclamation of Emergency, it was suspended and the state election was put on hold. FMT

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