June 15, 2024

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State election is not a priority now, says Abang Johari


KUCHING, May 12 — The Sarawak state election is not a priority of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government for the time being and it is focusing on efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 which is  still a threat.

Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said priority is now on containing COVID-19 as the disease has taken many lives in the state.

“The GPS government will give priority to efforts to fight COVID-19. Other matters such as state election could be later until the situation permits,” he said in a message in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri tomorrow.

According to him, the increase in infections lately is worrying with Sarawak becoming among the top states in terms of daily cases in the past few weeks.    

“The situation was quite control before this at two-digit level but it has worsened which is worrying to us. The SDMC (Sarawak Disaster Management Committee) is receiving public criticisms,” he said.

state election

However, Abang Johari is confident the criticisms would not break the spirit of the members of the committee to continue doing its best to curb the spread of COVID-19, taking into consideration the relevant data and factors.

According to him, SDMC had taken measures to continue the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in places with infections in line with the policy, ‘Trace, Test, Quarantine and Isolate’ which is more practical.

He said the Sarawak government would continue to obtain adequate vaccine supply including through negotiation and own procurement from suppliers to complete immunisation in the state by August.

“Besides, the state government also needs to obtain the approval of the federal government to gazette private hospitals as vaccination centres to expedite the immunisation process especially in urban areas,” he said.

He said it would be the second time Aidilfitri is celebrated in a controlled manner but he believed the constraints which all have to be go through would not weaken the determination of Muslims in the state.

“We understand the desire to celebrate the victory (after one month of fasting) with family members and friends but with the spread of pandemic, the teaching of the religion tells us to give priority to the safety of life and, health,” he said.