By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, April 27: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has twice postponed the dissolution of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly which would have paved way for the Sarawak election, in view of the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak.
Bearing witness to this, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the longer the chief minister delays the dissolution of the assembly, the more Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is at a disadvantage in the Sarawak election which must be called by mid-June.
“He could have dissolved it twice (sic) last year to make way for the Sarawak election but he did not. He does not want to risk the safety and the lives of Sarawakians.
“So he missed two good opportunities last year. If he does not have the benefit of Sarawakians in mind, he could have just got the election over and done with, rather than face the situation now, where he is now pressured by the expiry of this Sarawak Legislative Assembly,” Abdul Karim told DayakDaily.
For Abdul Karim, who is also the Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, such a move shows that Abang Johari views the people’s safety as more important than his own political future.
“Anyone can be accused of being power-crazed, but not this CM (chief minister) who only wants the best for Sarawakians,” said Abdul Karim.
Citing the example of paying the huge expenses for Sarawakians’ quarantines, Abdul Karim said it is Abang Johari’s earnest wish to help Sarawakians overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Covid-19 is causing chaos throughout the whole world, not just in Sarawak. There is no country in the world that can escape from the disaster brought about by this pandemic.
“Amidst all these hardships, Abang Johari is trying to combat the spread of Covid-19 by doing as much as the government can, including footing various costs in fighting the pandemic.
“The Sarawak government is now footing a whopping RM15 million per month just for the quarantine of those suspected or confirmed to have Covid-19. Sarawak is the only place in Malaysia that is doing that,” said Abdul Karim.
Abdul Karim who is also the Asajaya assemblyman thus called on all Sarawakians to abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid down by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) so that the spread of Covid-19 can be contained in Sarawak.
“The government can come out with all the SOPs or preventive measures but if people choose to disobey and have their own way, there is nothing much the government can do.
“So please, let us help each other by just obeying the SOPs for the next two weeks to cut the chain of transmission and Sarawak may return to where we were before, where Covid-19 is contained and controlled,” said Abdul Karim. — DayakDaily