Sarawak PKR to propose state elections on Jan 2, 2022 to include Undi18

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Sarawak PKR is meeting tonight to discuss the early lifting of the state of emergency in the state and to chart their course for impending elections, its information chief Abun Sui Anyit said.

On the agenda of the virtual meeting is a proposal to the Election Commission (EC) for polling day to be fixed on January 2, 2022, Anyit told The Malaysian Insight.

Ida Lim

“That’s the only date most suitable so Undi18 voters can vote.”

The EC has yet to announce the date for the Sarawak elections following the lifting of the state of emergency on Wednesday. The state legislative assembly was also automatically dissolved then.

Sarawak has 60 days, until January 3, to hold elections for its 82-seat legislative assembly.

The assembly’s term expired in June, but elections were suspended due to the emergency. After the national-level emergency expired in August, Sarawak’s localised emergency was extended until February 2.

Opposition lawmakers and civil society groups have panned the decision to lift the emergency early and hold elections before the end of this year as a move to avoid Undi18 – new voters aged 18 and above who will be eligible to vote come January 1.

In the meantime, one of Sarawak’s small opposition parties, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru, has moved quickly to upstage other political parties by unveiling its manifesto ahead of time.

It has seven electoral promises, chief of which is to repeal provisions in the Sarawak Land Code, which extinguishes native rights to their customary lands.

The Dayak-centric party also promised, if it wins the elections, to improve and enhance “the economic functions” of the Dayak community so they will be on par “with other most advanced communities”.

The manifesto, released by party secretary-general Julius Enchana this afternoon, stated it will work to preserve religious freedom, facilitate education and scholarship opportunities to Dayaks, promote equitable rights and equality for the Dayak community in sharing the country’s wealth. – TMI