COVID-19, Floods Affecting Timing Of Sarawak State Election – Wan Junaidi

KUCHING: The spike in COVID-19 cases in the country now and floods which usually occur at the end of the year in Sarawak would be among the factors affecting the timing of the state election.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) Supreme Council member, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said it can not be denied that the Sarawak state election is approaching but the question on when will be it be held is the prerogative of the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“This is a requirement of the law and Constitution and not a political need. In the present situation, we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic so the Election Commission (EC) has the power to decide the  specific standard operating procedure (SOP) for all places involved in the election.

“We see it (election) taking place at the latest in June 2021. It is now October 2020.

Therefore it is not far away and that is why preparations should start now,” he told reporters after chairing the GPS component  Election Liaison Committee meeting here today.

The mandate of the current state government ends in June 2021.  

Asked whether the state election would be held at the end of the year which is known as a flood season in Sarawak, Wan Junaidi who is also the State Entrepreneur Development, and Cooperatives Minister said personally, he would look from the historical aspect, whether it had been held before and what were the challenges then.

Sarawak held the fourth state election on Dec 28-29 in 1983.

On the increasing cases of COVID-19 linked to the Sabah State Election, the MP for Santubong did not agree if a health emergency was declared with the purpose of not holding the state election as such a declaration was never announced in the world to avoid facing the constituents. 

“COVID-19 can be handled with everybody complying such as physical distancing, wearing face mask and avoiding crowded places. The matter (health) cannot be considered as an emergency,” he said.