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By Lian Cheng and Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Oct 8: Sarawak may or may not hold a concurrent election with Malacca even though both need to call for one within a stipulated time frame.
To Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, both have come to the same political positions due to totally different reasons and thus should not be treated the same.
He said as the Malacca State Assembly had been dissolved due to loss of majority by the ruling coalition, and if the Election Commission (EC) were to accept the decree of the Governor on Malacca Assembly dissolution, then a snap election must be called within 60 days.
For Sarawak, he said, a concurrent election may also be held, provided that the Emergency placed over Sarawak due to Covid-19 pandemic be lifted first. If the Emergency which is effective until Feb 1, 2022 is still in place, Sarawak will be unable to hold its 12th State Election (PRN12) which is long overdue.
The current Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) expired on June 6, 2021 and like Malacca, Sarawak Elections should have been called within 60 days after its expiry. The life span of the current GPS government, however, has been extended following the declaration of Emergency.
“I can’t speak on behalf of GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) or PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu). But on a personal note, because I have a legal background, I feel that we should have the election because the five-year term has expired.
“Now we can go to the office, the school is open, dine-in is allowed. The Covid-19 pandemic is under control with more than 99 per cent of those infected in Categories 1 and 2. They get cured after five days, seven days. You can say it’s just flu. So what is wrong with Sarawak going for election?” Abdul Karim told DayakDaily.
Following Sarawak’s transition into a post-vaccination era where Covid-19 will be treated as endemic instead of pandemic, Abdul Karim who is also Asajaya assemblyman, pointed out that GPS government has the option of appealing for the lifting of emergency, based on good reasons such as having the pandemic under control.
On the relevance of Emergency, Abdul Karim said it was subjective.
“If you ask someone on the streets, some might say it’s still very relevant. If you ask someone like me, I feel that we should go for election.”
If the government of the day chose to appeal to the King for the lifting of the Emergency, he said it would mean that PRN12 may be called and there is possibility of a concurrent election with Malacca.
Presently, however, many may not be keen for election because “they are getting complacent”, including the opposition, who still seems to be not ready for an election.
“That is why they (the opposition) are against election. As opposition, they should be the ones asking for an election. Instead, they are the ones who do not want it and want it to be delayed further,” said Abdul Karim. — DayakDaily