Warisan to defend Batu Sapi

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah will defend the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat in the Dec 5 by-election.

Warisan vice-president Datuk Jaujan Sambakong said a candidate had been identified and would be announced before nomination day on Nov 23.

“A candidate has been identified, the president (Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal) will announce it, ” he told reporters here on Friday.

Most mainstream national and local political parties such as Sabah Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan, Parti Bersatu Sabah, Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party and PAS have announced that they will not be contesting the by-election due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The by-election is being held following the death of its incumbent, Warisan’s Datuk VK Liew, on Oct 2.

Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, has yet to make a stand on whether the party will contest the by-election, which

is being held as the state sees a marked increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Batu Sapi, part of the Sandakan municipality, is among Covid-19 hot spots in Sabah.

On Friday, as Sabah recorded 1,199 cases, its highest so far, state minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the by-election would have to be held under strict standard operating procedure (SOP).

He said the by-election could not be postponed and the Election Commission (EC) would take specific measures to ensure strict SOP.

“It’s a constitutional requirement and it has to be held. It cannot be avoided, ” said Masidi, who is the state’s Covid-19 spokesman.

Strict SOP is absolutely needed to prevent a repeat of what happened after the Sept 26 state election, where Covid-19 cases began to spike across Sabah.

“We have to minimise the spread of Covid-19 in the state. I understand that the EC will take this into account in its SOP, ” said Masidi, who is state Local Government and Housing Minister cum Finance Minister II.

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