Short-term Emergency in Sarawak beneficial to monitor Omicron, implement Undi18

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, Dec 3: A short-term Emergency for Sarawak may be beneficial for a close monitor on the Omicron variant and allow full implementation of Undi18 in upcoming polls.

This was the view of Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii when he said Sarawak does have ample time as the Emergency Order was supposed to end in February 2022.

“That will give us enough time to evaluate and monitor the full impact of Covid-19 during the Melaka Election and the emergence of this new variant of concern before deciding on having an election of our own.

“This will also give the Election Commission (EC) time to develop innovative ways and reforms, including absentee voting or postal voting for the upcoming Sarawak election,” he said.

Dr Yii said the people need to feel safe when participating in the democratic process while ensuring no one gets left behind.

He viewed that experts have yet to fully understand the Omicron variant, including its transmissibility, virulence and immunity towards vaccines. Thus it is better not to introduce a variable into the equation where a State-wide election may become a super-spreader event.

By postponing the elections, he also said that 18- to 20-year-olds could be given the right to vote since Undi18 has recently been gazetted and will come into force effective Dec 15.

“It is important to give Sarawak youths the voice to vote in Sarawak election, and the future of the State and country should also be a responsibility of young Sarawakians and Malaysians,” he added. — DayakDaily