Sarawak has “no choice” but to hold polls despite Covid-19 — SUPP sec-gen

Ting (front row, fourth left) with the SUPP Piasau team at Miri Civic Centre assisting senior citizens to register for Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) today (Oct 19, 2020).

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Oct 19: SUPP secretary-general, Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew asserts that Sarawak is left with no choice but to hold state polls when the current term of the State Legislative Assembly ends next year to seek a fresh mandate, despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

Ting when met today, disclosed that he agreed with Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s statement during Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP)’s special convention held in Kuching yesterday, that Sarawak will have it state election despite Covid-19.

“Unlike Sabah, which recently had their snap election, we in Sarawak are different from them, because ours (election) is mandatory, required by constitution,” he opined.

He added, as stated in the Sarawak constitution, the state has no choice but to hold polls when the State Legislative Assembly term expires in June 2021.

Ting pointed out there is no guarantee the pandemic will end by June 2021.

“Even if there were no decision (to dissolve earlier), our DUN will automatically dissolve…so the question (when to hold the state polls) is between now until June 2021,” he disclosed.

However, Ting who is also the SUPP Piasau chairman said Sarawak must learn from the surge in Covid-19 cases in Sabah when it held its election on September 26.

“Hence, we (in Sarawak) must implement stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) than Sabah’s election…to lower the risk of Covid-19 infection.

“Arising from the Sabah experience, we cannot allow crowded ‘ceramah’,” he added.

On SUPP’s readiness for this coming state election, Ting said, the party machinery in all of its 20 traditionally contested seats are gearing up for the polls.

Ting said the party would most likely field a new face in Pujut. — DayakDaily