Ting (left) speaks to an elder person during the presentation of KGC at the Miri Civic Centre.

KUCHING: The coming 12th Sarawak Election is not forced but a mandatory election as required by the state constitution, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting pointed out.

“This is because the present term for the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) will end in June next year.  

“As for Sabah’s recent election, the state was forced to hold the election even though the term for the Sabah Legislative Assembly only expires in 2023.

“For Sarawak, it is different. Even if there is no decision to dissolve the DUN, during the fifth year, the state assembly has to be dissolved automatically.

“There is no choice but to have an election. So, the question now is whether to hold it now or next year. And in which month should the election be called.

“Is it soon when the Covid-19 pandemic at the moment in Sarawak is still very much under control? Or should we wait until next year? But we do not know how the situation will be next year,” he told reporters when met.

Ting had earlier attended a ceremony to present the Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) to senior citizens at the Miri Civic Centre on Monday (Oct 19).

The Piasau assemblyman added it was unfortunate that the recent Sabah state election was held when there was already a surge in the Covid-19 cases there.

Ting said it was very important to abide by the standard operating procedures (SOP) during the election campaigns.

“Based on Sabah’s experience, there should be no crowded ‘ceramah’ (political talks),” he pointed out.

On online voting, Ting said eventually it would be good but the people and the country must be first be ready for it.

“We must be ready in terms of technology. In the urban areas, we are ready, but those in the rural areas may not be because the facilities are not there yet,” he said.