Masing hopes to have polls held by Aug

KUCHING: The Sarawak government may appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to lift emergency in the state should it manage to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said this is in order to make way for the 12th state election due this June. 

“The King declared an emergency because we are still being attacked by this virus. And with emergency, it will stop people from moving around including no election. 

“But if Sarawak can flatten the curve or contain Covid-19, we may ask the King to lift the emergency in Sarawak and then we can have the election,” he said in an interview. 

He pointed out that the state election has to be held by August as the current State Legislative Assembly (DUN) term ends in June this year, but that would depend on whether the state is able to bring down the Covid-19 figures. 

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 12 consented to the Proclamation of Emergency nationwide as a proactive measure to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. The emergency will be in force until Aug 1.

Asked if the emergency would affect Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in going to the ground to promote its party, Masing, who is also the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said not at all.

“It will not affect GPS component parties because we have been moving around throughout the state for the last five years. So it does not worry us,” he said. 

On how GPS sees Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB)’s challenge in the coming election especially in Iban seats, Masing said, “PSB, like any other political party, claims they are good, but only Sarawakians will tell whether they are right or not.” 

He said many of those in PSB were veteran politicians and people know who they are and what they have done. 

“When they were in power, what had they contributed in terms of development for the people? A few of them used to be ministers, elected representatives (YBs). So, when they were in power what have they contributed? 

“That is the best way to gauge their potential towards making Sarawak a better state,” he said. 

He added PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh has been a state minister for 30 years, and what has he done when he was a minister? 

“What do I think of them (PSB)? It is very hard to say whether they are good or bad, but let the people of Sarawak decide. That’s all. This is a case of may the best man win,” said Masing.