Ting: Emergency extension good for Sarawak to focus on fighting pandemic, reviving economy

Datuk Sebastian Ting

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, July 31: The Sarawak government can continue to focus on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as reviving the State’s economic growth and people’s livelihood now that the State Elections have been suspended for the next six months due to the extension of the Emergency.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting highlighted this in welcoming and thanking the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for extending the Proclamation of Emergency in the State from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022. 

“The Emergency extension is a good thing for Sarawak. Now, there is no need to rush the election as it cannot be held during this period, so the government can continue to focus on fighting the epidemic and reviving the economy.

“We have always emphasised that fighting the pandemic will always be our top priority because saving lives and ensuring the safety and health of the people are more important than anything else,” he said in a statement today. 

In a Federal Gazette released on late Friday night (July 30), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, decreed that the Emergency in Sarawak was extended from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
The proclamation of Emergency, made under clause (1) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, means that elections for the Sarawak State Assembly are now suspended.

Ting, who is also Piasau assemblyman, emphasised that it also reflected the commitment of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in putting ‘Sarawak First’ in the decisions made. 

“Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg himself has constantly emphasised that the most important task now is to be unified in our fights against the pandemic and stopped playing politics to score points for the elections. 

“As the pandemic has badly affected the economy and people, attention must be given to ensure that not only the Covid-19 situation improves, but also a vigorous recovery of the economy so that people can restore their livelihoods and return to a new normal life. 

“This is what the people of Sarawak are eagerly looking forward to and it is also what SUPP wants to see most,” he added. 

Ting asserted that SUPP leaders and members throughout the State are willing to work with the people through the difficult times so as to get out of the crisis. 

As such, he called for continued vigilance against the Covid-19 by adhering to standard operating procedure (SOP) and any other necessary precautions to stop the spread of the Covid-19, more so when the mutant viruses are continuously arising in the communities. 

“We believe that only when the pandemic is fully controlled and the situation is truly safe, can Sarawak then consider calling for the elections and seek fresh mandate from the people.
“Under a democratic system, elections are certainly important and a sacred procedure but the safety of the people must remain top priority in everything,” he concluded.— DayakDaily