KUCHING: The Proclamation of Emergency for another six months in Sarawak was welcomed by leaders of political parties in the State as it was considered necessary to protect the people from COVID-19.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, said the extension from 2 August 2021 until 2 February 2022, that also suspends further the State Election during that period, was appropriate.
The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) President said the decision was also relevant to the current pandemic situation in the State to avoid any possible increase in COVID-19 cases should an election be called now.
“However, should within the next few weeks we can flatten the COVID-19 curve in the State, then we can advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to lift the Emergency,” he said.
Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Secretary-General, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, said in a statement that the proclamation was justified for the safety and lives of the people in the State who are currently facing the pandemic that still poses a serious threat.
He added that GPS and all Sarawakians hoped that the situation would improve in line with the success of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) whereby all of the adult population in Malaysia are expected to be fully vaccinated by October.
“The development will allow many restrictions to be relaxed and the people’s lives can return to normal in stages,” said Nanta.
“Therefore, in that situation, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may agree to end the Proclamation of Emergency earlier which will allow the State Election to be held and enable the people in the State to exercise their right to vote and give their mandate to administer the State Government.”
Nanta said GPS had full confidence in the wisdom of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Sarawak’s Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, in the matter.
Meanwhile, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Supreme Council Member, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, said the decision was necessary to avoid a recurrence of what happened in the Sabah State Election that later saw a spike in COVID-19 positive cases throughout the State.
“Although the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) would like to go back to the rakyat (people) to renew their mandate in an election, we think saving human lives and avoiding more infections that can bring death and suffering must be given priority over any other consideration,” he said.
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