Bersih launches online petition to defer Sarawak polls

Sarawak PKR information chief Abun Sui on ground checks in Belaga district.

MIRI: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has launched an online petition to ask the Sarawak state government to run its full term until June 7, next year instead of calling for early state elections during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The petition to the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg is gaining momentum with support and endorsement from native groups and other community organisations as well as political parties.

Sarawak PKR on Thursday (Nov 5) said its leaders and members are signing the petition too.

Lawyer Abun Sui, who is state PKR information and communications committee chairman, told The Star that the online petition deserves support from all concerned Sarawakians.

He said Sarawak PKR chairman Larry Sng has endorsed and signed the petition and has called for all PKR leaders and members to also sign.

Sui said there are three appeals in the petition.

"The first is for the Sarawak ruling GPS government to run its full term until June 7 next year when the will automaticallystate legislative assembly expire.

"That will pave the way for the Elections Commission (EC) to set a date within 60 days for the 12th Sarawak election to be held.

"There is no need for GPS to call for early state election during this Covid-19 peak period," he said.

Sui said the second appeal in the petition is for GPS and EC to make sure that all eligible Sarawakian voters working and living outside Sarawak can cast their votes.

"Even if they cannot come back to Sarawak to cast their ballots, the EC must put in place the facilities to make sure they can vote via postal voting," he said.

Sui said the third appeal in the petition is for GPS and EC to make sure all political parties and contesting candidates have fair access to television and radio coverage.

"The campaign coverage must be fair to all contesting parties and Independent candidates so TV and radio coverage must be extended to all free of charge," he said.

Sui urged all Sarawakians to check out the Bersih website and sign the petition too.

GPS controls 68 out of the 82 state constituencies in this vast state.

There is talk that the current state assembly may be dissolved after the 2021 state budget is tabled and approved during the state assembly sitting from Nov 9 to 18.

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