No major implication on ruling coalition on when state election held

Dr Awang Azman

KUCHING: There will be no major political implication on the state ruling coalition — Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) regardless of when the 12th state election is held.

Universiti Malaya (UM) Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said as the date of the state election has not been fixed or officially announced, the focus should be on managing Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is necessary to focus on this (people’s lives) and this should be the priority of GPS and the state government.

“… and for GPS, it is the right thing to do in view of the rising Covid-19 cases in the state,” the political analyst told New Sarawak Tribune on Sunday (May 16).

“The current Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) will dissolve on June 7 this year and the state election is required to be held within 60 days, that is, before August 7. However, the deadline cannot be applied due to the proclamation of Emergency in the country.

“Therefore, if the Emergency ends on August 1, only then can the state election be held within 60 days from that date or subject to the discretion of the King,” he said.

He added that the Sarawak Cabinet would still continue to function as usual after June 6 and would be considered as an interim Cabinet before the DUN is dissolved.

“When the interim government, assemblymen and ministers continue to carry out their duties while taking into account the Emergency, the one thing that they cannot do is to draft new laws during that period,” he said.

Awang Azman said GPS’s action in not rushing into calling for the election would even increase its popularity.

“GPS, still being the government of the day, has the advantages in terms of government machinery, has large allocations to bring in development and provide prosperity to the people of Sarawak.”

He said it cannot be denied that the opposition had also played their part in helping the people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But, compared to the Sarawak government, the assistance by the opposition is in small scale and less widespread due to lack of funds and allocation because they are not part of the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will leave it to the wisdom of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in consultation with the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to decide on the appropriate time to dissolve the DUN.

On May 15, GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said that the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also GPS chairman will have an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the matter.