Sarawak State Legislative Assembly
KUCHING: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has proclaimed a six-month emergency in Sarawak, from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, thus suspending the state election for that period.
A Government Gazette dated July 30 said Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah decreed that the emergency is to suspend the state election in order to prevent any further increase in the spread of Covid-19 if the election is held.
His Majesty decreed that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, economic life and public order in the country are threatened arising from the pandemic.
However, Section 2(2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021, issued in conjunction with the emergency proclamation for Sarawak, states that the operation of the proclamation of emergency may be terminated earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sarawak.
The gazette said that in accordance with Article 21(3) of the Constitution of the State of Sarawak, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly should have stood dissolved on June 7.
As the ongoing nationwide emergency, proclaimed on Jan 11, will end on Aug 2, the Sarawak state election would have to be held within 60 days from Aug 2 in accordance with Article 21(4) of the Sarawak State Constitution, it said.
“Now, therefore, we, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, by the Grace of Allah, Yang di-Pertuan Agong of the States and territories of Malaysia, in exercise of the powers conferred on us as aforesaid proclaim that a grave emergency exists and that this proclamation shall extend throughout the State of Sarawak from 2 August 2021 to 2 February 2022,” the King decreed.
The proclamation of emergency was issued at Istana Abdulaziz in Indera Mahkota, Kuantan, on July 29.
The gazette said that the proclamation of emergency will be laid before Parliament pursuant to Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Government is supportive of the Proclamation of Emergency which has been declared in Sarawak to safeguard the people’s health.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in a statement said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s decision was in line with the stand of the Sarawak Government.
“The King’s decision is in line with the State Government’s stand, especially in two matters, namely to safeguard the safety and welfare of the people of Sarawak and also to uphold the practice of parliamentary democracy in Sarawak.
“With the Proclamation of Emergency, the 12th Sarawak state election will be postponed until the Covid-19 situation has reached a stage where it will no longer bring harm to the people of Sarawak.
“It will be based on the advice from health professionals and scientific data.
“We thank the King for his wise decision in ensuring that the state election can be held only when the pandemic in Sarawak is under control and does not affect the health and safety of the people.”
The statement also said that to ensure the practice of parliamentary democracy is maintained, a state election should be called as soon as the situation permits.
“This will ensure a fresh mandate from the people as soon as the Covid-19 situation is under control.” – Bernama