Lifting Emergency will leave Sarawak in conundrum

Sarawak State Assembly building

KUCHING: The lifting of Emergency after Aug 1 will leave Sarawak in a conundrum, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

He said by law, the state election would need to be held within two months after the Emergency period ends.

“It appears that by Aug 1, the Emergency will be lifted. Malaysia including Sarawak is not out of the woods yet by then. The 80 percent herd immunity which we hope to achieve is not attainable.

“The era after Aug 1 will not be good enough for Malaysia to go back to the lives prior to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.

“However, the laws say once Emergency is lifted democracy can be practised and parliament can sit and general election may be held if required. The King had stated as such,” he said on Thursday (June 17).

Masing said democracy and ensuring the safety of people’s lives must be balanced amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The lifting of Emergency on Aug 1 puts Sarawak in a real political and social conundrum.

“The practice of parliamentary democracy at a time of health crisis, is not necessarily the best for the people.

“The decision makers in any democratic nations must be intelligent enough to choose between the practice of democracy and the safety of human lives,” he said.

Earlier, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers have said that there was no need for the ongoing State of Emergency to be extended past its original end date of Aug 1.

The Rulers also said that they support the Agong’s stance that Parliament be allowed to convene immediately, and at the state level the respective legislatures should do likewise.