Masing: Emergency can be lifted earlier to enable elections if Covid-19 situation improves

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

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KUCHING, July 31: Sarawak can advise the King to lift the Emergency earlier to pave way for the 12th State Election if the Covid-19 situation in the State can be brought under control within the next few weeks.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, in highlighting this, emphasised that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) needs to get the mandate from the people of Sarawak to administer the State for the next five-years.

“The Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg needs to get his own mandate to be the Chief Minister of Sarawak, and the sooner the better (but) without endangering the health of Sarawakians.

“I am quite confident that with stringent standard operating procedures (SOP) implemented, we can hold the state elections without endangering the public’s health,” he said in a statement today.

Masing was responding to the extension of Emergency for Sarawak until Feb 2, 2022 which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has agreed as revealed in a Federal Gazette issued late Friday (July 30) night.

He is aware that the Emergency was extended for Sarawak from Aug 2, 2021 until Feb 2, 2022, to hold off the state elections based on the advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Election Commission of Malaysia (EC), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), to prevent a possible spike in Covid-19 cases in the country which has yet to subside until today.

Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development, also pointed out that last Sabah election which triggered a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country “is a lesson learnt, but not a lesson to be followed”.

“Other nations such as Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, including the United State of America (USA), had held their general election amidst the Covid-19 pandemic without a devastating impact on their population,” he added.— DayakDaily