‘Postponing by-election the right thing to do’

KOTA KINABALU: The King’s decision to declare an emergency in Batu Sapi, Sandakan – thus postponing the by-election scheduled on Dec 5 –is the right action to curb the spread of Covid-19, say state leaders.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (pic) described it as a wise decision considering the fact that Covid-19 continues to threaten the people’s health and well-being in Sabah.

“The need to stop the spread and protect the health of the people is of paramount importance, ” he said.

Hajiji said the Sabah state government, through its Covid-19 Disaster Management Committee, was working relentlessly with the authorities to contain the pandemic.

Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said: “The King has used his wisdom. The lives of people cannot be put at risk in a bid to exercise democracy.

“We hope a suitable date will be announced later as all have a right to choose their leaders, ” he said.

Sandakan DAP MP Vivian Wong hoped the by-election would only be held after the situation improved.

Retired civil servant Thomas Lau, 71, said: “This is the best decision ever. It will be a huge relief to all frontliners who have been working non-stop since the pandemic started and also for the people who have been affected, ” he said, adding that as elections were held every five years, this postponement would not affect the government much.

“If the situation improves, we can all enjoy whatever elections we want, ” Lau said.

Civil servant Siddek Kassim, 62, said the decision was appropriate.

“Batu Sapi is also considered a red zone so postponing the by-election would only do good for the health and safety of the people, ” he said.

The Election Commission declared Nov 23 as nomination day, Dec 1 for early polls and Dec 5 for the Batu Sapi by-election following the death of its MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong of Parti Warisan Sabah on Oct 2.

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