Seal Sarawak borders during state election

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has proposed that the Sarawak borders be totally sealed during the 12th state election.

Masing, who is also the Sarawak Border Security Control Committee chairman, said that if the state election was called soon, the committee might, after its meeting, suggest to the government that people from Malaya, Sabah and outside Sarawak be banned from entering the state during the duration of the campaign.

However, Sarawak voters outside the state should be allowed to return during that period to cast their votes.

“This is to stop Covid-19 and its variants from further spreading in Sarawak,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Monday (Aug 2).

The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) chief said that all entry rules to Sarawak including a 14-day quarantine at hotels or quarantine centres must be strictly complied with.

Looking at the current trend of Covid-19 infections worldwide on Aug 1, Masing said the situation did not seem to be improving. There were fears that new variants might emerge.

“The term of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) expired on June 6. We have no breathing space.

“If Covid-19 evolves to become a more vicious and deadly virus, Sarawak will be caught with no way forward.

“I hope the King looks at Sarawak’s political predicament and the possible danger posed by mutated Covid-19 in the next few months,” he said.

The proclamation of Emergency for Sarawak is in place until Feb 2 next year. With this, the impending state election cannot be held until the Emergency is lifted.