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When should Sarawak hold 12th state polls? Take our survey

0 month ago, 12-Oct-2021

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building stands on the Petra Jaya side of the Sarawak River.

KUCHING (Oct 12): Talk has been rife recently that the 12th Sarawak state election, which is on hold because of the Covid-19 Emergency, could be conducted soon possibly even next month but are the people willing to go out to vote?

The Borneo Post is carrying out a survey online and through its social media platforms from today to find out if its readers and followers are ready for an election amid the Covid-19 pandemic and when they believe the long awaited polls should finally be held.

The survey is open for 48 hours until 7am on Thursday morning. (Click here to take the survey.)

The 12th state election was supposed to be called following the expiry of the term of the current Dewan Undangan Negeri on June 6 this year.

However, the Emergency Proclamation by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in January had stopped elections from being held, and therefore, the term of the legislative assembly was extended.

The nationwide Emergency, to curb the spread of Covid-19, was lifted in August but the King decreed that the Emergency be extended further in Sarawak until Feb 2, 2022, as the number of Covid-19 cases was soaring in the state.

The King can, however, decide to lift the Emergency earlier after taking into consideration the views of the state government.

Talk of a state election soon had gained momentum after the whole of Sarawak entered Phase 3 of the Covid-19 National Recovery Plan on Oct 1, followed by the lifting of inter-district travel restrictions a few days later.

On Oct 7, Parti Sarawak Bersatu president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh claimed in a statement that trusted sources had told him that there were those within Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) who planned to hold the state election soon amid Covid-19.

He claimed that people in the states ruling coalition were concerned that the High Court decision to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 years old with effect from Dec 31, 2021, might not work to the government’s advantage.

The GPS Backbenchers Club swiftly rebutted Wong, asserting that the GPS government welcomed the participation of youths in the democratic process.

We view that youths, when given the opportunity, can evaluate for themselves the quality of service rendered by the current state government, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of saving lives and ensuring livelihoods,” it said.

The dissolution of the Melaka State Assembly on Oct 5 had also stirred up speculations that Sarawak could hold its polls soon as it appears Melaka’s snap election will happen within the next 60 days from the dissolution in spite of Covid-19 fears.

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