Don’t politicise Emergency proclamation

Lee Kuok Tiung

KUCHING: Political analyst Dr Lee Kuok Tiung hopes that no politicians will try to politicise the proclamation of Emergency for Sarawak until Feb 2 next year with accusations or claims that certain parties want to avoid the state election or are afraid of losing the state election.

“Instead, everyone should join hands to fight the Covid-19 pandemic by achieving herd immunity as soon as possible because the Covid-19 virus does not know anything about your political beliefs, skin colour, religion, gender, or age,” he said when contacted yesterday

He believed that the decision on the proclamation of Emergency for Sarawak had considered all aspects.

“This is especially pertaining to the immunisation programme is in full swing in Sarawak to pursue the target of achieving herd immunity, and all efforts will be in vain if suddenly in the middle of these efforts an election is held, which will surely see a lot of movement,” he said.

The senior lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) said the decision was clearly driven by intention to postpone the Sarawak state election.

“But we must accept the fact that there are still three by-elections which are to be held when this Emergency is over, namely the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election and Bugaya by-election in Sabah as well as the Gerik parliamentary by-election in Perak,” he noted.

“This proclamation of Emergency answers speculations that Sarawak’s election may be held soon,” he said.

Lee explained that this was because if the previously announced nationwide state of Emergency which came into effect on Jan 12 and is slated to end on Aug 1 lapsed, Sarawak would have to hold its election within 60 days.

In a federal gazette released on Friday, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decreed that the proclamation of Emergency in Sarawak was to suspend its state election to prevent further Covid-19 transmissions.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong decreed that a grave emergency existed and that the proclamation must cover the entire state from Aug 2 until Feb 2 next year.