Former Stampin rep: Fairer deal for voters to hold 12th State Election after Emergency ends next year

Julian Tan

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KUCHING, Oct 24: Former Stampin MP Julian Tan argues that the 12th Sarawak Election should be held next year taking into consideration the implementation of Undi18, automatic voter registration by December this year and the expiry of the Emergency in Sarawak by February next year.

Tan, who is a special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, opined that if the said election were to be held next year once Undi18 and the automatic voter registration is implemented, some 135,000 people aged 18 to and more than 660,000 new voters will not be deprived of their right to vote.

“They will be eligible to cast their votes after December 2021. We are building the future for our next generation; therefore, it is only right for us to include them in deciding how the State should move forward,” he said in a statement today.

Recently, there has been speculation that the 12th State Election will be held by before the end of this year.

Tan pointed out that by February next year, most Sarawakian would also have completed their double doses and booster shot for Covid-19.

He said not all Sarawakians will reach the ‘7 months wear off period’ at once since there are those who only completed their double doses in late October this year, and more than 99.5 per cent of cases in Sarawak are in Categories 1 and 2, with very low transmissibility.

According to Tan, studies also show that a single third booster shot can increase the level of antibodies by about 5 to 10 times, depending on the type of vaccine.

“Putting the above two facts together and our means and ability to administer the booster shot quickly, it is obvious that the best time to have a State election is next year,” he added.

On July 29, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah decreed that the Emergency in Sarawak was extended from Aug 2 this year to Feb 2, 2022 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The proclamation of Emergency, made under Clause (1) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, means that elections for the Sarawak Legislative Assembly are suspended.

On Sept 21, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that the government had decided to go ahead with the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voter registration by Dec 31 this year at the latest as ordered by the Kuching High Court. — DayakDaily