Hold Sarawak polls in Covid-19 green zones first, Telang Usan rep suggests

Dennis Ngau

MIRI (Oct 28): Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau has suggested that the Sarawak state election be held according to the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 colour classification, with green zones or districts with no cases holding the polls first.

Asserting that the polls should be held before the end of the year, the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leader pointed out that 90 percent of the state seats were currently green zones.

“Personally to me now is the best and appropriate time to hold the state election as we never know what’s coming up next year. Worse comes to worst, just hold elections in only green areas and later in red or yellow zones when condition permits, “ he said.

He said this in response to Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s recommendation yesterday not to currently hold any election in the country due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said that if the election could not be avoided, the Health Ministry would hold a discussion with the Election Commission (EC) to look into different means of conducting the election.

“(Firstly), no cross-border and no cross-district (travel), and no ‘balik kampung’ for the election. Secondly, no (mass) gatherings, and thirdly, no house-to-house visits. These are the three main issues that we need to discuss with the EC, and whether we can implement the use of postal votes and so on. We can continue to discuss with the EC to improve the situation,” he said.

The current term of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly expires in June next year and the election must be held within 60 days.

Dennis agreed that if the state election is called, it should be held in a more regulated manner.

He said there should be no big crowds during the campaign period and the voting time be extended to prevent overcrowding.

“For example, polling from 8am to noon can be extended to 3pm in rural areas as most of voting centre in Telang Usan ends by noon or 1pm,” he said.

Dennis also said there should be strict restrictions on all non-Sarawakians entering the state during the campaign period.

“Regardless of who they are, every non-Sarawaking coming into Sarawak must be quarantined 14 days according to SDMC’s requirement for Covid-19 screening, “ he said, referring to the State Disaster Management Committee.

The post Hold Sarawak polls in Covid-19 green zones first, Telang Usan rep suggests appeared first on Borneo Post Online.

Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/28/hold-sarawak-polls-in-covid-19-green-zones-first-telang-usan-rep-suggests/