State polls may only be held early next year or late this year: Analyst

Datuk Peter Minos

KUCHING: Political analyst Datuk Peter Minos believes that this whole year may be fully consumed by anti-Covid-19 efforts and speculates that the Sarawak state election may only be held early next year or late this year.

“If the Covid-19 war is won by July or August this year, then the state election may be held by September or October,” he said when contacted today.

He said this was only a possibility as one could not be 100 per cent certain in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He noted that there would be no state election while the state of emergency was still ongoing, despite the fact that by law, the current Sarawak State Legislative Assembly’s term expires in June this year.

“So we in Sarawak have to wait for the state of emergency to be lifted. When that will be, nobody can tell, because it will be up to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the federal government to decide.”

He believed that as long as the Covid-19 pandemic was still raging on nationwide, the state of emergency would persist.

“Perhaps with the coming vaccines, standard operating procedure (SOP), and other anti-Covid-19 exercises, the virus will slowly die away. That may take until the end of this year, so everybody should exercise patience.”

Minos said the state of emergency declared by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah was much needed as the government must fully concentrate on handling the pandemic.

“The government must not be disturbed and politically harassed on its anti-Covid-19 efforts and exercises. The nation needs the government to stop Covid-19 from spreading, and then eventually getting rid of it if possible.”

Thus, he said the Agong’s decision was a wise, timely, and prudent one.

“Some United Malays National Organisation (Umno) leaders and some others, for their own personal dubious reasons, have been harassing and threatening to topple Muhyiddin and the government, and this must stop.

“Why create political problems and troubles when the government is fighting very hard against the silent but deadly Covid-19?”

Minos said the state of emergency helped to resolve these political problems, as parliament and state assembly sittings were suspended and general, state, and by-elections cannot be held within this period.