King right to declare state of emergency in Batu Sapi, says Bung

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 19 Nov 2020

KOTA KINABALU: The King’s decision to declare a state of emergency in Batu Sapi is for the safety of the rakyat and not to deny anyone of their democratic rights, says Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (pic).

The Sabah Umno chief said the declaration, which also saw the postponement of the Batu Sapi by-election set on Dec 5, shows the King’s concern for the people.

“This is a proactive state taken to protect the rakyat from the worsening Covid-19 situation, ” he said in a statement Thursday (Nov 19).

Bung said the number of positive cases in Sabah and the country spiked following the state’s 16th election on Sept 23.

“We should take this as a lesson. The state of emergency announced is not to take away anyone’s democratic rights as the by-election will proceed once the Covid-19 situation has improved, ” he said.

Likewise, Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili welcomed and supported the declaration.

“It is the best move for Sabah, particularly Batu Sapi, to contain the spread of the deadly virus, ” said the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs).

He said there should be enough of politics for now as the priority should go towards managing the Covid-19 situation, people's livelihood and state economy.

Ongkili said this proclamation calls for any proceedings for the Batu Sapi by-election to be suspended to prevent a fourth wave of Covid-19.

“We agree with his Majesty that there's a need for a Declaration for a Proclamation of Emergency under Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution to postpone the Batu Sapi by-election until a new date is set, ” he said.

The Batu Sapi parliamentary seat was declared vacant following the death of its MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong of Parti Warisan Sabah on Oct 2.

He is believed to have died due to a lung infection.

The EC then declared Nov 23 as nomination day, set Dec 1 for early polls and Dec 5 for the by-election.

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.

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