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“Other countries did it too” Deputy Chief Minister says Covid-19 won’t stop Sarawak elections



Source: The Borneo Post & Quartz

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You’d think we would’ve learned our lesson from the first time this happened. Weeks ago, the Sabah state elections caused a sudden drastic upsurge in Covid-19 cases in Malaysia. Ministers and citizens who flew back and forth from Semenanjung and East Malaysia to campaign and vote ended up carrying the virus with them. Even PM Muhyiddin himself admitted that the elections were one of the main causes of the sudden spike in cases that launched the country into its third wave of infection.

The Sabah elections.

Yet, it seems as though certain ministers would rather take a page from the book of other countries instead of our own. Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri James Masing, announced that the pandemic will not stop Sarawak from having their 12th state elections as long as they follow the rules.

“Covid-19 is one factor but there are other countries who have held elections during this pandemic. This includes Singapore, South Korea, and New Zealand,” said the Tan Sri in a statement recorded by Sinar Harian.

When asked about the rakyat’s woes that the state will experience the same spike that Sabah is going through due to their elections, the Deputy Chief Minister said the elections will proceed with strict adherence to the regulations and SOPs. “They will hold the elections without facing any problems as long as the SOPs are followed.”

“We don’t have a choice. If we don’t hold the elections now, after five years, the State Legislative Assembly will be dissolved,” said the Tan Sri, adding that he didn’t know any options that would allow the elections to be postponed. “The decision to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly to give way to the elections rests with the chief minister,” he added.

Previously, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, said that the Sarawak election will still happen because of the capabilities of the Sarawak government in handling the spread of Covid-19 effectively.

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Also read: Chief Minister: Sarawak Election Will Still Go On Because Of State’s Success In Handling Covid-19

Source: SCMP

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