Cover Story, Current Affairs, National

No Justification For An Early Sarawak State Election!

Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii
6 October 2020

I think before we start to compare with countries like Singapore or New Zealand, we must first understand the local context and our situation in Sarawak.

It is not just as simple as controlling our immigration borders.

For an election to be done in Sarawak, many of the staff and officers including those from the Election Commission, and enforcers such as the police will be mobilised from outside Sarawak into Sarawak to help out with the election.

We must understand, the size of Sarawak is almost as big as West Malaysia and to carry out an election will require a lot of man power. So we are looking at many coming in, increasing the risk of the virus being brought into Sarawak.

On top of that, this also includes Sarawakian voters that are working or even studying outside Sarawak. In order for them to vote, they will need to fly into Sarawak as well and are we going to deny them entry and deny their right to vote?

Even if they are allowed to vote in quarantine centres, the length of the quarantine will deter many Sarawakians from coming back to vote as they may not be able to get such a long time off work or even school. That itself is also against the spirit of democracy, where we should find ways to allow everyone the right to exercise their vote.

In comparison, Singapore is a small country and almost all man power to run the elections is internally mobilised. In countries such as New Zealand, the PM has already postponed the election once before due to rising numbers of Covid-19. Now they have not had a single case for the past 10 days and are moving back to level 1 ( low risk) where there are no more restrictions.

In the case of Sarawak, since the mandate only ends in June 2021, there is no rush and justification for the election to be held soon.

While cases in Sarawak may seem low now, no one can predict the trend in the future especially if there is a new hidden cluster that is being discovered.

Before this, we must all remember the time when the numbers of cases in Sarawak were higher than the rest of the country especially with the discovery of new clusters then, that is why nothing should ever be taken for granted.

Right now, the main focus has to be on curbing the virus and protecting the people’s lives and their livelihood.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP for Bandar Kuching

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