Elections only “when safer and appropriate even if #Covid19 is around” says Karim

As the Positive #Covid19 cases surged there are calls for the 12th Sarawak Elections to be put back till the “appropriate time”

Even today 29/10/20 the Education Ministry (MOE) has ordered all schools in Kuching red zones to close from tomorrow (Oct 30) until Nov 13, amid a rise in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak’s capital city.

Everyone is concerned and of course there is a cause for alarm and now POLITICS needs to take a back seat. Karim gave his view points and pointed out that there is A NEED TO SEEK A NEW MANDATE for the Sarawak Government.

It will most likely be held in 2021 with SOPS for elections clearly specified by the Election Commission and the Ministry of Health Guidelines.

We just wait for the Dissolution and the EC will fix the date thereafter within 60 days.

{Extracted from an Online Portal with thanks}

KUCHING: A state minister says the surge in Covid-19 cases in Sabah after the polls there should not be cited as a reason for Sarawak to put off its election.

Tourism minister and PBB vice-president Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the high number of illegal immigrants in Sabah, and local residents staying in highly populated communes were among the factors contributing to the spread of Covid-19 in that state.

He said the Election Commission (EC) did not come up with stringent SOPs for the campaign period as well as nomination and polling days after the dissolution of the Sabah assembly.

“Various political parties went on with campaign activities and stricter SOPs were not imposed, which led to the spike in the number of cases after the polls,” Karim told FMT.

“We acknowledge the concern of health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who has advised against holding any election for now in view of the pandemic, but the scenario in Sarawak is different.

”Besides, we must hold the state election by June, unless an emergency is declared, which is unlikely to happen.”

Therefore, he said, there was no way for Sarawak to avoid holding its state election as the current term of the state assembly would expire in a few months’ time.

Asked if the state government would consider waiting for all the districts to be categorised as Covid-19 green zones before dissolving the assembly, Karim said: “No one can foresee what is going to happen next, whether there is a hike or drop in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state.”

He said the state government would monitor the situation and call for an election when it was “safer and appropriate even if Covid-19 is still around”.

“Otherwise, the state assembly will be dissolved automatically, regardless of whether Sarawak is a red zone or green zone.”

Karim said the EC and health ministry must come up with stricter SOPs to prevent Covid-19 from spreading during the state election without curtailing the rights of citizens to vote.