‘Callous’ to call state election this year, Sarawak party tells GPS govt

Aspirasi president Lina Soo says the Sarawak government should not think of calling state polls due to the coronavirus disease outbreak situation which may get worse before it gets better. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Aspirasi president Lina Soo says the Sarawak government should not think of calling state polls due to the coronavirus disease outbreak situation which may get worse before it gets better. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUCHING, April 4 — Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo today urged the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government not to call the state election this year.

“In view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak situation which may get worse before it gets better, the Sarawak government should not think of calling state polls,” she said.

She added the nation’s economy is shattered and livelihoods are on the line, adding that people in rural areas are barely surviving because they have no income.

“To think of going to the polls and politicking within the year would be most callous of any government,” she said.

The term of the current Sarawak state assembly expires in June 2021, but there has been speculation, which emerged last year before Covid-19 infections started to spread from China to other countries, that the state election might be held this year.

Soo noted that, as of yesterday, Sarawak had 239 positive cases of Covid-19 and nine deaths and that the Kuching district has been declared a red zone.

“Furthermore, there is news of an assistant minister who tested positive for Covid-19 and many of our Sarawak politicians are under self-quarantine for observation for the virus infection,” she said.

Soo also noted Malaysia as a whole has been getting new cases in the triple digits for the past few days with an accumulative total of 3,333.

“This shows that the Covid-19 situation in the country is not levelling down and has yet to peak,” she said, adding that the movement control order (MCO), which has been in place since 18 March, has not yielded the desired results.

With this in mind, Soo urged the federal government to extend the duration of the MCO to April 30.

“More time would be required for the worst to blow over and not risk a further wave of infections,” she added.

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