Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg deliver his speech. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

SARAWAK STATE ELECTIONS

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has hinted that the Sarawak state elections will not be happening soon.      

“We are not facing the election, do not worry – it is still far,” he said in his speech when officiating at the earth-breaking ceremony of the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) Complex at Ong Tiang Swee Road here today.

Abang Johari said this after revealing that Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, a Muslim, had approved an allocation for a church in Lawas.

He said such an act would be perceived less positively in Malaya and could hinder one’s chances of winning an election, but this religious inclusiveness was, in fact, the beauty of Sarawak which must be protected.

“Only four days ago, I officiated at an earth-breaking ceremony for a mosque costing about RM10 million in Belaga. Do you know who asked for that mosque? It was Datuk Liwan Lagang (Belaga assemblyman),” he said.

The chief minister pointed out that although Liwan was not a Muslim, he was looking after the welfare of Muslims.

“Of course, we have built an RM10 million church also in Belaga. That is fair — RM10 million for a church and RM10 million for a mosque,” he said.

Lately, speculations on the date for the state election have been rife because the current term of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) expires in June next year.

Certain quarters have expressed concern about holding the state election in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, in view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in Sabah after its recent state election.

Last Sunday, Abang Johari said that the people’s health was important but the government was managing the pandemic.

He added that Covid-19 would persist until the discovery of a vaccine, but this did not mean the election had to be postponed.