Saturday, October 16, 2021

Talk rife that Sarawak may join Melaka in heading to state polls

This would require the revocation of the current state of emergency in the East Malaysian state.

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Speculation is rife that Sarawak’s overdue election may be called by the end of November, which could see state polls being held either simultaneously or close to that of Melaka, MalaysiaNow has learnt.

The move would require the revocation of the current state of emergency in Sarawak which expires in February, and which was declared to prevent elections from being held during the pandemic.

Unlike the convention in other states, Sarawak’s state seats are contested separately from the general election.

The five-year mandate for the Sarawak government expired on Aug 1 this year, and an election was supposed to be called within two months.

However, a nationwide virus emergency which took effect in January meant that elections could not be held.

A source in the Election Commission refused to confirm the speculation, but said it was unlikely that two state elections would be held simultaneously.

An election must be called in Melaka within the next two months, following the state assembly’s dissolution this week.

This came after the Melaka chief minister, Umno’s Sulaiman Md Ali, lost support from four assemblymen including two from his party.

Analysts have pointed out that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) , the coalition of Sarawak ruling parties formed after the defeat of Barisan Nasional in the 2018 polls, will again have an edge over the opposition.

GPS, comprising Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), is also an ally of the Perikatan Nasional coalition led by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, and has in recent months been seen as a kingmaker in federal politics.

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