Our priority is saving human lives

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. Photo Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Much as the chief minister and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties would like to seek a new mandate from the people through the election, as responsible leaders, they must prioritise saving human lives and preventing the people’s pain and suffering.

In saying this, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the proclamation that Sarawak would remain under a state of Emergency until Feb 2 next year was expected.

“This is expected because the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak has not reached the threshold that the Health Ministry (MoH) and the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) have agreed to set,” he said yesterday (July 31). 

The Santubong MP noted that this had been discussed at length by both the state and federal governments, with both agreeing on MoH’s advice.

“This is to avoid a recurring of the Sabah episode in September last year,” he said, referring to the spike in Covid-19 infections in the country which resulted from the Sabah state election at the time.

He said the situation was even more critical now due to the more infectious Covid-19 Delta variant present in Sarawak as well as in West Malaysia.

On another note, Wan Junaidi expressed confidence that GPS was prepared for the state election, pointing out the leaders and people’s representatives had been on the ground since 2019.

“During this Covid-19 period from the first movement control order (MCO) in March last year right up to now, their wakil rakyat are everywhere – in the urban centres, villages, longhouses, and the isolated interior areas – working quietly and tirelessly.

“From delivering provisions to those who need food on the table to delivering vaccines, officials, and volunteers in administering the vaccines, as well as preparing the vaccination centres (PPVs) with monitoring by SDMC,” he said.

He also said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his Cabinet were everywhere to oversee projects and programmes set by both state and federal governments, moving despite the broken supply chains and challenges experienced during this pandemic.

“The state is ready and GPS is ready for the election, and with all these, the state’s leadership thinks of saving human lives and to avoid infections that bring death and suffering. This must be given priority over any other consideration,” he said.

Wan Junaidi also noted that Sarawak was doing very well with regard to vaccinating the people, commending the concerted and coordinated efforts by everyone with all GPS elected representatives playing their part.