KUCHING: The Sarawak state government will wait and see whether it was safe for the state election to be held after the Emergency was lifted on Aug 1, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Chief Minister said the current Covid-19 situation in the state and the formulation of standard operating procedures (SOP) by the Election Commission (EC) were among factors to be considered.
"If the Emergency is lifted on Aug 1, the state election must be held within 60 days (of that).
"But we must make sure the situation is conducive. We have to see whether our Covid-19 situation has improved, which is based on the figures (of cases).
"Secondly, we have to see whether the EC has finished their SOP (for the election)," he told reporters after launching the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday (July 27).
In addition, Abang Johari said the people's health was more important than holding elections.
"We do not want to cause something similar to what happened in Sabah," he said, referring to the Covid-19 spike in the country after the Sabah state election last September.
However, he said the present state government also needed a new mandate to move forward.
"So it's up to the strategic agencies like the Health Ministry and EC, if they are willing to weigh all this.
"The decision is on their side, we just wait and see what happens within one or two weeks," he added.
The Sarawak legislative assembly's five-year term was due to end on June 6 this year, following which the state election must be called within 60 days, but this was suspended due to the Emergency.
The state government was also advised by the King to continue functioning as normal during the Emergency period.