In critical election year for Sarawak, politics takes a back seat to Covid-19

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datuk Amar Juma'ani Tuanku Bujang send their Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings.

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KUCHING, May 12: Even with the end of the current State Legislative Assembly term fast approaching in June this year, the 12th Sarawak State Election has been given a backseat as the spectre of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to loom, demanding the full attention of the Sarawak government.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government therefore will give priority to efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic while other matters such as the State Elections can be postponed until circumstances permit.

“The Sarawak government is currently working on obtaining an adequate supply of Covid-19 vaccines, including by negotiating and procuring its own from suppliers so that the immunisation programme in the State can be completed by August as targeted.

“The State government needs to get approval from the federal government and related agencies before Sarawak can place orders for the vaccines,” he disclosed when extending Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings to the people in a message today.

Moreover, Abang Johari emphasised that the State government also needed to get permission from the federal government to gazette private hospitals as vaccine immunisation centres in order to speed up vaccination efforts particularly in urban areas.

As the world is currently experiencing a surge in Covid-19 infections once again such as in India, he gave assurance that Sarawak is fully focused on efforts to curb infections while rolling out vaccines for 2.08 million people who are eligible to receive the jabs.

“I call on all Sarawakians who are eligible to be vaccinated to register either through the MySejahtera app or other methods in their respective areas,” he urged.

As Sarawak will celebrate a muted Hari Raya Aidilfitri for the second year running in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and various restrictions, Abang Johari also advised the Muslim community as well as all Sarawakians to continue to be vigilant and adhere to all standard operating procedures (SOP) and guidelines.

In addition, he also urged all Sarawakians representing diverse backgrounds, races, religions, ethnicities and political inclinations, especially the Muslims, to remain ethical and strengthen the culture of respect for one another.

“Unity of the people is very important not only during good times but also when the State is currently facing a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is not a time for us to be divided or split among ourselves, but the government is always ready to accept the different and constructive views.

“Let’s celebrate this auspicious day with a spirit of goodwill and brotherhood among people regardless of religious and racial differences, even in these challenging circumstances,” he urged.

Abang Johari and wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang also extended “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri” and “Maaf zahir dan batin” greetings to all Sarawakians. — DayakDaily