Aspirasi opposes suggestion state polls be held before March 31

Lina Soo

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Jan 9: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) disagrees that state elections should be held before March 31.

Its party president Lina Soo said there is still more than six months away before the expiry of the term of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN).

With the country still battling the Covid-19 pandemic as well as rising cases of the coronavirus, she believed that holding an election would put more life of the citizens at risk of contracting the virus.

“An election is a super spreader event as we had witnessed from the Sabah election and the US presidential election.

“If our government is so good at issuing guidelines to contain Covid-19, why is Malaysia facing the highest infection rate right now?

“Furthermore, I think it’s just daft to propose an election using social media platforms as if internet penetration and connectivity is so good in Sarawak.

“The health and safety of Sarawakians must come before winning elections.

“There will always be elections, and in the current situation, waiting for half a year is prudent.

“But, a life lost due to Covid-19 is irreplaceable and irreversible,” she said in a statement.

Soo was responding to the statement issued by Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh yesterday.

Abdul Ghani said the suitability to organise the general election will be evaluated by the Covid-19 pandemic management committee which consisted of National Security Council (MKN), Ministry of Health (KKM), National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), Malaysian Royal Police Force (PDRM) and related agencies.

He added the committee will conduct risk evaluation and provide a recommendation to the government whether it is suitable or not to hold the general election.

On the organisation of an election, in particular, Sarawak State Election to be held after March 31, Soo believed the situation would be much safer to hold the election in the second half of the year as vaccination for Covid-19 has been implemented by the middle of this year.

“The Malaysia government’s Covid-19 vaccine would well have been underway by the middle of the year.

“EC staff and personnel involved in the election process would have received their vaccines by then and it would be less risky to have them enter Sarawak,” she added. —DayakDaily