KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal acknowledged that voting in the state election amid the Covid-19 pandemic could expose Sabahans to possible infection, but appealed to them tonight to perform their duty as voters.
The caretaker chief minister apologised to Sabahans that they were forced to go to the polls even as Covid-19 clusters sprouted across the state, blaming political rivals for destabilising his state administration at such a time.
“It is certain that with the Covid-19 situation, there is a high probability that we might be infected.
“Nevertheless, as the consequence of the political turmoil and power grabs in the country — even though this did not directly involve Sabah — that eventually spread here and they tried to seize control of Sabah,” he said in a special address tonight.
While he did not name any individuals or parties, he was patently referring to former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman who tried unsuccessfully to take over the state government using lawmakers’ defections.
Shafie reiterated that his administration had no choice but to call for an early state election to ensure that Sabahan voters’ mandate from the 2018 general election was honoured and protected.
He said the election on Saturday was critical to allow Sabahans the fresh opportunity to vote in a government and lawmakers with dignity and integrity.
Shafie went on to urge all involved to take every precaution and ensure that they do not expose themselves or others to inordinate risk of Covid-19 infection.
Sabah became the new epicentre of Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases just as campaigning for the state election began.