KUCHING: The 12th Sarawak state election which must be held sixty days after the lifting of the Emergency on Aug 1 should not be postponed further.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said an intervention from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri was not necessary to stop the election, given the high rate of vaccination in the state.
“Sarawak is on its way to achieving about 80 percent vaccination rate which will give it herd immunity. This means the majority of people in the state will be protected from the coronavirus.
“Once the Emergency is lifted on Aug 1, Sarawak has no choice but to hold its state election within 60 days, unless the King and the Governor intervene to stop it from being held due to the dangerous spike of Covid-19 in the state.
“I hope a situation will not arise which will warrant the Agong a legitimate excuse to stop the state election from being held,” he said yesterday (July 25).
In spite of having achieved herd immunity by then, the deputy chief minister said stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) must be enforced.
This should include closing the state’s border from people outside throughout the duration between nomination day and polling day.
“The Election Commission (EC) must allow Sarawakians to vote. Therefore, the EC must find ways and means for Sarawakian voters to exercise their rights to vote, within the confines of SOPs as stated by the state government and its relevant agencies,” he added.