Today I have told our media friends that I’m all for the possibility of Sarawak’s State Election to be held after August because as an elected state assemblyman, I refuse to stay in power without the people’s mandate.
Frankly, I don’t think I want to stay on as a “wakil rakyat” without the mandate from the people because they have the right to determine who should be the government. It’s a fact that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition was given five years to rule as government, and that period has expired on June 6 which is over a month ago.
But we must understand with the declaration of a state of Emergency in Malaysia that took precedence over all written laws, the term of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) was extended until the last day of the emergency on Aug 1.
Now that the federal government has revealed its Cabinet’s consensus not to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for an extension of the Emergency Order, the State Election should not be deferred further as well.
This is my personal opinion, but it’s anybody’s guess. I read in the news that quite a number of politicians, whether from the government or opposition, have requested for the elections to be postponed further. But, we must understand the rights of citizens. This is a parliamentary right. For us in the GPS-led government, we do not want to hold onto power on the pretence of the emergency due to a pandemic.
In my response to those who are opposed for an election being held during the pandemic, I have questioned whether Sarawak was in a condition where it is menaced by a serious health threat depicted as one of the criteria for an emergency declaration, when the public is allowed to drive on the streets, shop for groceries and dine in restaurants.
I have also mentioned to our media friends for Covid-19 to continue become a part of everyone’s lives in the years to come, thus it is only right to hold elections with strict standard operating procedure (SOP) and proper restrictions.
There’s nothing to fear. I believe Malaysians, as well as Sarawakians have already adapted to the Covid-19 situation. If Covid-19 is going on for another five years, are we going to postpone it (State Elections) that long?. On the popular predictions on the date for the state elections to begin, it could be in late September, the earliest perhaps, as many preparation works need to be done by the Election Commission (EC) which cannot be completed within a month’s time.