Any law to defer election is against Federal Constitution, says Takiyuddin Hassan

KUALA LUMPUR: Creating a new law to defer the election amidst the Covid-19 pandemic will be against the Federal Constitution, says Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in a written reply to Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (BN-Padang Terap) said the creation of a Bill to postpone an election during Covid-19 pandemic was against and inconsistent with the Federal Constitution.

He also noted that amendments to the constitution to hold off the polls would require the support of a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

As an alternative, Takiyuddin who is in charge of law, said the postponement of the polls could happen if the Covid-19 pandemic was deemed an emergency as provided under Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

Mahdzir has asked Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin whether the government intends to amend the constitution or pass a new law to defer a general election amidst the Covid-19 pandemic to curb the spread of the virus.

On Oct 25, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah decided that there was no need to declare a state of emergency in the country.

The decision by the King was made after he consulted with the Malay rulers over a proposal raised by Muhyiddin on Oct 23.

Several Opposition leaders claimed that Muhyiddin was seeking an emergency declaration to suspend the political process as a means to avoid a possible defeat of Budget 2021 which is to be tabled on Friday (Nov 6).

The issue of deferring the elections comes in the wake of the third-wave of Covid-19 and a recent spike in cases attributed to the Sabah election in September.

Concerns are now on campaigning during the upcoming Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election on Dec 5.

Adding to worries is the Sarawak state election which must be held next year.

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