Polls once emergency is revoked

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (right) speaking at a press confrerence. (left) Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Sim Kui Hian. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The Sarawak government respects the proclamation of emergency by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Openg.

He was, however, optimistic that the 12th state election would be held once the emergency was revoked.

“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed the emergency in accordance with the Federal Constitution, so we have to comply.

“If the situation improves and the Agong is convinced there has been a lot of improvements, he (Agong) can issue another proclamation in which the emergency can be lifted in some parts of Malaysia.

“Let’s say Sarawak is improving and the numbers go down. He can proclaim that maybe Sarawak is okay now, so part of Malaysia (the emergency order in Sarawak) can be lifted,” Abang Johari said after visiting flood victims in a relief centre at Kampung Segedup here today.

Accompanying the chief minister on his visit was Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Abang Johari said the spike in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak was caused by the Pasai cluster in Sibu and if this situation was contained well and the number of cases dropped, the emergency could be revoked in Sarawak for the state election to be held.

“We are doing a lot  of swabbing now, so naturally the figure will come up. If we can contain that and the figure comes down, then it’s up to them to see our situation.

“If they say the emergency can be lifted in Sarawak, and then election lah,” he quipped.

On Tuesday, the Agong approved the Proclamation of Emergency until August 1 as a proactive measure to curb the Covid-19 epidemic nationwide.

The current term of the Sarawak legislative assembly will end on June 6 this year.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari reminded Sarawakians to be vigilant throughout this week due to severe weather conditions.

“I urge the people to be strong and prepared to be evacuated to temporary evacuation centres should their homes get inundated for their own safety. For this week, I hope the people will remain vigilant and wary of the situation around them,” he said.

At the same time, the chief minister reminded flood victims who were evacuated to temporary evacuation centres to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He said the process of evacuating flood victims to temporary flood evacuation centres in the state was closely monitored by the State Health Department and relevant agencies.

“That is why we are careful during the flood, and we do health screening when we evacuate flood victims,” he said.