KUCHING, Nov 3 — Sarawak PKR Women today slammed Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar for saying that the best time to hold the Sarawak election would be January or March next year.
Its deputy head Zulhaidah Suboh said the Covid-19 situation in the country would still be uncertain then, with many more people likely infected.
“Although we have different political ideologies, we agree with the recent view of Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan that the current term of the Sarawak state assembly ends in June next year and therefore, the election could still be held in August,” she said.
Zulhaidah stressed that the surging number of Covid-19 cases is worrying, adding that the state division of PKR Women urges the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government to hold the election in August, which is the maximum five-year term of the current of the state assembly under the state Constitution.
She said this will allow proper planning and sufficient preparation time to safeguard everyone against possible Covid-19 infection during the election.
She said public interest and health should always come before any decision to call an election.
Earlier this week, Wan Junaidi, who is also the Bersatu MP for Santubong, said that the GPS state government would have no choice but to call the state election in the near future, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, as the state assembly’s term was near expiration.
“You must remember the constraints that our chief minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg) is facing. In December, we have Christmas, and if we were to have an election in December, it would not be fair to those celebrating Christmas. We never do that.
“The same thing with February. It will be Chinese New Year. Again, we cannot do that in February as it’s just not fair to those celebrating. The same thing with April, which is Ramadan, and Hari Raya in May. Then in June, we have Gawai.
“So you see, the window for the state election is very narrow. The only time I see available is in January or March,” Wan Junaidi was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.
Wan Junaidi said Abang Johari had a difficult choice to make.
“We cannot stop it (the election) unless there is a state of emergency. Therefore, you cannot blame the chief minister for doing this because he has no authority to stop the election,” he said.