By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Dec 4: When should the 12th Sarawak election (PRN12) be held?
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic that struck the shore of Sarawak, it was a known fact that the State government had planned to hold it sometimes in September or October this year.
But with Covid-19 pandemic, the plan has been derailed and there were even individuals who have voiced out their recommendations to the Federal Government to impose an Emergency law in Sarawak in order to postpone it altogether.
However, with zero or single digit Covid-19 positive cases being reported in Sarawak lately, it will not be a surprise if PRN12 were to be held anytime now.
This is the opinion of PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing that PRN12 could be held anytime now.
“To me the sooner PRN12 is held the better it will be, since Sarawak Covid-19 is now more manageable. But it’s the Chief Minister call,” Masing told DayakDaily today.
Masing who is also the acting chairman of the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is the best person to know about the latest wave of Covid-19 in the State.
As such he asserted that PRN12 should be held anytime from now before the current State Legislative Assembly tenure expires in June 6, 2021.
“There is no guarantee that within the next few months Covid-19 will disappear, but one thing for certain is that by June 2021 DUN Sarawak will end its term. Whether we like it or not, Covid-19 or no Covid-19, Sarawak will have no government to administer the state by June 6, 2021 unless PRN12 is held before that.
“So, before that happens lets seek the mandate of the people of Sarawak. Once PRN12 is done, we have the luxury of time in containing Covid-19 pandemic,” he reiterated.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister was commenting on Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh who had said that PRN12 could be held anytime now with stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as no physical campaign activities except by using social media and online campaign.
Abdul Ghani was in Kuching yesterday to introduce EC members to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the latter’s office.
“I fully agree with EC chief that PRN12 can and should be held anytime soon without incurring any deadly consequences, provided that strict health SOPs are adhered to, including no campaigning in large number, no walk about nor door to door canvassing,” said Masing.
Looking at the calendar from now until June, PRN12 would most likely be held within three ‘windows’, namely in January, March or May.
Both February and April would be ruled out as the former is the month for the Chinese celebrating the Chinese New Year and April is the holy month of Ramadhan.— DayakDaily