State elections can wait but lives cannot be replaced, says CM

Abang Johari arriving at Stadium Perpaduan, Petra Jaya earlier this morning (Feb 27, 2021). Photo credit to Jabatan Penerangan Negeri Sarawak (JAPEN).

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Feb 27: Sarawak state elections can wait, people’s lives are more important now.

This was what Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said during the launching of Sarawak immunisation programme at Stadium Perpaduan, Petra Jaya here earlier today.

“We are in the state of emergency, matters regarding elections can be discussed afterwards.

“We can hold the elections any time, but lives cannot be repeated two or three times,” he said at a press conference when responding to reporters who questioned whether the 12th State Elections (PRN12) would be held after the end of the immunisation programme this coming August.

At the moment, he added, the state government is only giving emphasis to the people’s health and not anything else.

Citing the example on quarantine issues in Sarawak, Abang Johari said the state government has been bearing all costs including accommodation and food for all Sarawakians, which totalled up to RM72 million since 2020.

“You see, money can be earned, but lives cannot be replaced,” he said, asserting that this is Sarawak government’s principle of running things at present.

Reiterating his point, he brought up the recent news about a gas discovery in the Central Luconia Province which is about 80 kilometres off the coast of Sarawak amid the worldwide Covid-19 crisis.

He said Sarawak would be negotiating with Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) in terms of the state’s income while maintaining its focal point on its people’s safety, health and wellbeing. — DayakDaily