Shafie is sorry but justifies snap polls amid Covid-19 pandemic

Warisan president Shafie Apdal, on the campaign trail, wants voters to take precautions when they vote on Saturday. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Caretaker chief minister Shafie Apdal tonight apologised to Sabahans for calling for a state election in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, hours after the state recorded the highest number of new infections.

The Warisan president said he was sorry as the snap polls meant that candidates would have to meet with the electorate while on the campaign trail.

“With the current Covid-19 situation, there is a big possibility that we might be infected.

“However, it is because of the defections that we had to dissolve the state assembly to allow the people to decide who should be the government,” he said, referring to the attempt by his predecessor Musa Aman to form a new state government when he claimed to have the majority support in the Sabah legislative assembly in July.

Shafie said this in a short speech which was live-streamed on Facebook this evening.

Earlier today, the health ministry announced that 63 of the 71 new Covid-19 positive cases recorded in the past 24 hours were in Sabah.

Shafie went on to advise voters to be careful when casting their ballots to ensure the virus does not spread.

He also reminded them of their responsibility to vote as enshrined under the Federal Constitution.

“Come down and carry out your responsibilities and vote for Warisan.”

Shafie’s apology comes days after he had suggested that even Covid-19 patients should come out to vote on Sept 26, a remark that drew flak from his opponents, among others.

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