KOTA KINABALU: Voters in Sabah’s east coast will not be stopped from casting their ballots on Sept 26 despite the rising number of Covid-19 cases there, says Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic).
The caretaker Chief Minister assured voters that there would be no widespread movement restrictions.
“We have decided that we will control the situation, but we will not go for a full lockdown. We will manage the areas affected by Covid-19 in terms of people’s movements in and out of those areas.
“So, this will not affect (the state election). We are managing and monitoring it around the clock.
“We will ensure that the people can still exercise their right to vote, ” he told reporters while on the Api-Api campaign trail to support candidate Datuk Christina Liew on Thursday night.
According to reports, the Selamat cluster in Semporna has two positive Covid-19 cases.
Prior to that, the Benteng LD cluster has recorded over 400 positive cases, with 142 in Lahad Datu and 332 in Tawau.
When asked, Shafie, who is contesting the Senallang seat, Warisan Plus may resort to more online campaigning in Covid-19 hotspots.
“We have to make adjustments. For areas where virus infections are present, we will not enter and will use social media instead, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Shafie said his predecessor Tan Sri Musa Aman had every right to be present at Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s event in Sabah.
“That is up to him. He has the right to be wherever he likes, ” he said.However, Shafie doubted that Musa’s appearance would make much of a difference.
“The people will know who to choose. They will not simply vote for them just because Musa made an appearance, ” he said.
He also alluded in his speech that Sabah Bersatu chief Datuk Hajiji Noor, who is defending his Sulaman seat, was being controlled by Musa.
He declined to elaborate on the matter but said Musa and Hajiji had worked together to bring down his government.
“He might deny that, but everybody knows that when he joined Bersatu and when they tried to take over power, they were together, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Shafie said Sabah would not hesitate to take Petronas Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to court if it failed to pay up the state sales tax (SST) on petroleum products.
He said if the national oil company could pay up the 5% SST owed to Sarawak, there was no reason why it should hold back payments due to the state.
“If they are able to pay Sarawak the SST, why not Sabah?” he told people while campaigning in Putatan near here.
On Thursday, Petronas paid up RM2.9bil SST owed to the Sarawak government.
Shafie had previously said that out of the nine oil companies operating in Sabah, only Petronas had not paid the SST imposed in June this year.