Simultaneous elections depend on Malaya situation

Abang Johari. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: While it is no secret that Sarawak will have its state election soon with the government nearing the end of its term, there is also a possibility of simultaneous state-federal elections.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in addressing this, said the matter would depend on the developing political situation in Malaya.

“I don’t know whether the general election will be held simultaneously with the state election – this will depend on what is happening in Malaya.

“For us, it (our state election) is already fixed as we have our own timeline,” he said during an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune today (Jan 8).

Responding to Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh who said Sarawak could conduct its state polls using traditional and social media instead of house visits, Abang Johari assured that the guidelines would be adhered to.

“We will follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid out and for us in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), we are confident and we leave it to the rakyat to decide,” he said.

Asked on the reason for that confidence, the chief minister said the people were accepting the policies made by the GPS government to develop the state.

“The people want stability and our socio economic policies which can ensure their future. Lastly is the fostering of unity among the community by GPS,” he said.

Asked when the election candidates would be announced for the upcoming state election, the GPS chairman said he would make the announcement when the time was right.

Pressed on whether there would be fresh faces fielded as candidates in the elections, he said he would decide in due time.

Recently, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) ruling coalition’s party United Malay National Organisation (Umno) was reported to have pushed for a change of government through a snap election.