GPS wants to hold Sarawak election before Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness wanes, says party sec-gen

GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the party does not mind having the election this year, before the effect of the Covid-19 vaccine on people waned. — Borneo Post Online pic
GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the party does not mind having the election this year, before the effect of the Covid-19 vaccine on people waned. — Borneo Post Online pic

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KUCHING, Oct 23 — The possible waning of the Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness is one of the main reasons that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) found it suitable to hold the 12th state election this year, said its secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

“Based on what we had gathered, the effect of Covid-19 vaccine in Isreal and the UK, in particular, after seven months, started to wane. Their efficacy is becoming less,” he said.

Because of that, he said GPS does not mind having the election this year, before the effect of the Covid-19 vaccine on people waned, he said.

He said the state government may embark on giving people third or booster doses but the speed of their distribution is not fast enough, he said when met here yesterday.

Nanta, who is federal minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Kapit MP, said GPS leaders too, do not want to “live on borrowed time for far too long”.

He said by right, the state election was due since June this year after the term of the state legislative assembly (DUN) expired, but because of the Emergency status put on Sarawak, polling day was deferred, he explained.

“And not only we fear the waning effect of Covid-19 vaccine, we are also seriously taking into account the impact caused by the coming monsoon season like floods,” he said.

Nanta said these are reasonable issues which people should seriously take into account when considering why the state election should be held this year.

He also said that the bad experience of Sabah snap election in September 2020 could not be used to justify to further delay Sarawak 12th election because at that time, most people were not fully vaccinated yet.

He said it would not be fair for members of the Opposition fold to always alleged that GPS are scared of Undi18 because there is no proof that youngsters are anti-GPS.

He said the Undi18 group members may be rooting for GPS like what their parents had done, but should some of them decided not to support GPS then that would be their democratic right.

“Undi18 may be our asset because we have helped their villages and so on. To us, timing is most important.”

He also said that there is no guarantee that automatically registered voters including Undi18 voters, could cast votes in the inaugural year because there may be issues involving litigations, for instance.

There is no guarantee that next year would be a perfect year for election should there be again a spike of Covid-19 cases like that in the UK now, he added.

With the downward trend in the number of Covid-19 cases, most adults and adolescents fully vaccinated and strict SOPs put in place, the timing now is right for election, he argued.

Nanta said he would like to put it to the Opposition that they were the ones fearing the uncertainties to be caused by Undi18 and automatic registered voters.

On top of that, the Opposition are only out to think of their advantage when calling for a delayed election, he said.

Nanta also said he was perplexed by the Opposition’s current mind-set because previously they were the ones who were so eager to get the mandate of the people but in the end, do not want an early election. — Borneo Post Online

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