The state election can wait, says Sarawak CM

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.

KUCHING: Sarawak’s coming state election can wait until the Covid-19 situation has improved, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.

The state government, he said, was focusing fully on efforts to contain the spread of the virus and carry out the immunisation programme for 2.08 million eligible recipients in the state.

“Covid-19 has already claimed many lives in Sarawak. Each life is precious. Our priority now is the fight against Covid-19. Other matters, including the state election, can be put on hold until the situation permits, ” he said in his Hari Raya message yesterday.

The next state election is due by Aug 5,60 days after the state legislative assembly’s current term ends on June 6.

However, no election can be held during the current Emergency period which is in place until Aug 1.

The state government, said Abang Johari, was trying to obtain sufficient supply of vaccines, including direct procurement from suppliers in order to complete the immunisation programme by August.

Sarawak’s decision not to implement the movement control order, said Abang Johari, was based on past experience and consideration of the economic impact.

He said the state disaster management committee would continue to impose enhanced MCO in localities with infections based on data and the situation on the ground.

Sarawak is maintaining its current conditional MCO with stricter SOP until May 17 instead of MCO 3.0.

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