Sarawak to call for early election?

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg answers reporters’ questions at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching January 6, 2020. — Bernama pic
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg answers reporters’ questions at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching January 6, 2020. — Bernama pic

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LIMBANG, Feb 2 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today hinted that the state election may be called earlier than the expiry of the current term of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly next year.

“I don’t know when the drum will be sounded, but the time for the Maghrib prayer has come, and we’re only waiting for the sound of the drum,” he said during the launch of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) northern zone here.

Abang Johari, who is also GPS chairman and Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) president, re-assured the people that only GPS can protect and defend the state.

“But I am confident that only GPS leaders know what the wishes and aspirations of the people are.

“God willing, only the responsible leadership of GPS will transform the state in a smooth and peaceful way,” he said.

Sarawak last held its election for the 82 seats in the Sarawak State Assembly on May 7, 2016.

The then Barisan Nasional (now GPS) won 72 out of the 82 seats while rest were won by Pakatan Harapan (PH).

The current Sarawak State Assembly automatically expires on September 2021 if the state election isn’t called now.

GPS was formed soon after the 14th general election in 2018 by four former BN component parties — PBB, PRS, SUPP and PDP — following the coalition’s defeat to PH.

On another matter, Abang Johari said he has read the news about Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanting the Science and Mathematics subjects to be taught in English.

“We implemented this at the start of the year. However, there are people who disagreed.

“There is a Pakatan component party that does not agree with the prime minister over the use of English for Science and Mathematics in schools.

“We in Sarawak are very practical. We know that English is important for acquiring knowledge,” he said.

The chief minister, however, said that the state government must not set aside Bahasa Melayu as it is the country’s official language.

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