Monday, November 23, 2020

No rush for state election, says Sarawak CM

Abang Johari Openg says public health should be given due consideration before any decision is made.

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Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today said he was in no rush to call for a state election, particularly given the current surge in number of Covid-19 cases.

He said although the election could be called any time now, public health should be given due consideration before such a decision is made.

“We are monitoring the situation. Why should we rush (to call for an election) as the (health of the) people is more important?” he told reporters after attending an event with Samarahan community leaders.

Abang Johari added that he would seek expert advice from the health ministry and ensure that the Election Commission is fully prepared to implement procedures for the new norms in conducting the election.

“They (health experts) are monitoring and they are giving me advice (to facilitate my making the decision on the election),” he said, declining however to reveal the advice given to him by the experts.

The term of the current state assembly will end in June next year.

“A state election is inevitable, except that we don’t know when the election (is going to be called),” said Abang Johari, who is also the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu president and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman.

Meanwhile, GPS secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi said the coalition, which also includes the Sarawak United People’s Party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, and Progressive Democratic Party, has yet to decide on a date for the state election.

“So far, there has been no meeting of the GPS Supreme Leadership Council to discuss the state election,” he said in a statement.

He added that the GPS government was concerned about the current spike of Covid-19 infections and was taking into serious consideration the danger of the disease to the safety and lives of people in Sarawak.

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