King grants govt’s request for declaration

Time of urgency: Muhyiddin meeting the King at the palace. (Photo courtesy of Istana Negara)

PETALING JAYA: The King has agreed to a declaration of a Proclamation of Emergency to cancel and postpone the Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah that was scheduled on Dec 5, following a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah met Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin for an hour at 4pm yesterday, according to a statement issued by Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.

“Muhyiddin presented his advice to the King following a decision made at a Cabinet meeting.

“After listening to explanations from the Prime Minister and after being satisfied with 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 another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The by-election will be held on another date.

Ahmad Fadil said the King was concerned about public safety following the sharp rise in cases after the Sabah state election on Sept 26.

“His Majesty believes it is necessary to cancel the by-election and postpone it to another date, ” he said.

Ahmad Fadil said the King 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 of whom live outside the constituency, including in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

It is also estimated that 16,000 voters do not have complete addresses, which would have made postal voting difficult.

The King also advised the people to continue being vigilant and play a role in helping the government curb the spread of the disease.

He also expressed 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.

The Batu Sapi by-election was called following the death of its MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong on Oct 2 due to a lung infection.

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