CM: Sarawak polls must be held when term ends, virus or not

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says the state election must be held when the current term of the State Assembly ends next June.

He said certain individuals and parties had suggested that the polls not be held during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We must go back to the people (for a fresh mandate),” Abang Johari, who is Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, said when closing the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Convention 2020 here yesterday.He said Sarawak must continue to be governed by Sarawakians and not people and political parties from outside the state.

GPS is a Sarawak-based coalition of four parties, namely Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) with Abang Johari as the president, SUPP, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).

Abang Johari said he wanted all component parties to work together to win the 12th state election.

“No country can be successful if the people are split and without direction but thank God, I have the cooperation of all the component parties,” he said.

Having won the case on petroleum product sales tax against Petronas, he said Sarawak under GPS would keep exercising its rights on minerals on its soil to diversify its income.Meanwhile, fears that bad weather, floods and Covid-19 may affect the polls have been raised in high-level state election meetings.

Ruling politicians from PBB raised these issues at the PBB Northern Sarawak Convention and subsequent branch meetings in Miri.Telang Usan assemlyman Dennis Ngau, who is PBB Baram chief, said: “Bad weather and the Covid-19 pandemic may persist for months. The monsoon season is unpredictable.”

PBB branches are currently holding their meetings across Sarawak. The meetings are part of the PBB state-level delegates convention.

There are growing signs that the Sarawak Legislative Assembly may be dissolved sometime during the Nov 9-18 session.

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