Dr Jeniri: PRN12 may be held in December

File photo of Jeniri speaking to the press.

SIBU, Nov 16: All eyes will be on the Election Commission (EC) and when it will finally announce the nomination and polling dates for the 12th Sarawak Election on Nov 24.

Many are of the opinion that the election will be in December, as it has to be called within 60 days after the Emergency Ordinance was lifted on Nov 3.

National Council of Professors senior fellow Dr Jeniri Amir believes that the election will be on Dec 18, with the earliest date being Dec 4.

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“The EC will have more time to prepare if it is to take place on those two dates in December. It will be the second time in Sarawak’s history after 1983 if it is held in December,” he said.

On the chances of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg winning a two-thirds majority of the 82 available seats, he said it would not have much problem doing so.

In the 2016 election, GPS, which was then known as Barisan Nasional, won 61 of the 82 seats.

However the political analyst opined that the “biggest challenge” awaits GPS in the coming election.

“The biggest challenge is to ensure that the GPS logo is known to the voters, especially in rural areas and the elderly voters. This is the first time GOS as a new political entity is using the logo. If another party, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK-an independent party) contest, using the same logo, this will be more challenging,” he said.

He is of the view that another challenge for GPS is the voter turnout.

“The turnout for the last State Election was 70.1 per cent. How to ensure a turnout of at least 70 per cent this time? The EC and Health Ministry need to formulate a clear standard operating procedure (SOP) and an effective hybrid strategy in campaigning is also imptortant,” he said.

Dr Jeniri also touched on Undi18 which the Opposition has been saying that GPS wants to avoid by having the election before the implementation of the automatic registration for new voters and Undi 18 from Jan 1 next year.

“There is no clear data or evidence to show that Undi18 will support the Opposition Previous state elections show that young voters support BN. In some areas the support was up to 94 per cent.

“So to say that Undi18 will give advantage to the Opposition is just speculation, although there is a tendency in the urban areas and among the Chinese Undi18 to vote for the Opposition,” he explained. — DayakDaily

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