Media statement by MP for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen on 24 November 2021:
Since the very beginning, I have expressed the opinion that now is not the time to hold the Sarawak State Election due to these 3 main reasons:
1. We are still in the midst of a pandemic and should fully concentrate on the rollout of booster vaccine doses
We had the advantage of observing and even doing a proper assessment of the potential Covid-19 damage from the Melaka polls before deciding to have ours, but instead, political considerations have trumped health concerns. Furthermore, the impact of Covid-19 in Melaka will only be seen in the next 2 weeks.
2. Undi18 has not been implemented
We can simply wait for just a few months in order to give this important demographic a voice in the elections.
3. Important electoral reforms are yet to be implemented
Important electoral reforms that I have been pushing for, including absentee voting or postal voting for Sarawakians in Semenanjung Malaysia have yet to be implemented. It is important to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the election so as to give more legitimacy to the election itself. Any attempts against this can be considered as “voter suppression”.
However, since the decision has already been made, I thus call upon the Election Commission (EC) to ensure:
- Clear and specific SOPs that are based on science to ensure all political parties can spread their message fairly and clearly. There must be fair enforcement to ensure that there will be no double standards and SOPs designed to favour any party.
- Ensure equal and fair air time and coverage for all political parties on national media; newspaper, TV, radio and others.
- The government must find ways to control the prices of air flight tickets to to Sarawak 3 days before and 3 days after the election date to ensure maximum voter turn out and remove any obstacles for eligible Sarawakians to come back to vote.
Now a quick search shows it cost up to RM1,000 one-way just to fly to Kuching.