PETALING JAYA: The King has agreed to declare a state of emergency in Batu Sapi to cancel the by-election that was scheduled there for Dec 5.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah agreed to the decision after a meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Wednesday (Nov 18).
In a statement, Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said Muhyiddin met with Sultan Abdullah at 4pm on Wednesday for about an hour to present his advice to declare a state of emergency in Batu Sapi.
"Muhyiddin presented his advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong following a decision made at a Cabinet meeting.
"After listening to explanations from the Prime Minister and after briefings from Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Zuki Ali, Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh, His Majesty saw the need for a Declaration for a Proclamation of Emergency under Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution to cancel the Batu Sapi by-election," Ahmad Fadil said.
The proclamation also means any proceedings concerning the Batu Sapi by-election will be discontinued to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and prevent another wave of the disease from emerging.
The by-election will be held on a later date.
Ahmad Fadil said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was concerned about the people's safety following the sharp rise in cases after the Sabah state election on September 26.
"His Majesty believed it was necessary to cancel the by-election and postpone it to another date," he said.
Ahmad Fadil said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also took into account the number of registered voters living outside Batu Sapi who would have to return to cast their votes.
According to the EC, there are 32,962 voters in Batu Sapi, 3,170 who live outside the constituency, including in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.
It is also estimated that 16,000 do not have complete addresses, which would make postal voting difficult.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also advised the people to continue to be vigilant and help the government curb the spread of the disease.
He also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the frontliners and extended his condolences to those who lost loved ones to Covid-19.
"His Majesty also called on all Malaysians to stand united to fight the pandemic," Ahmad Fadil said.