PETALING JAYA: The Federal Gazette, in which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed a state of emergency for Sarawak, has made clear the gravity of the situation.
The King decreed that the proclamation must cover the entire state from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022, as “a grave emergency exists”.
This means that Sarawak will remain under Emergency until Feb 2 next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, as such, its state election cannot be held until the Emergency is lifted.
The gazette noted that the Sarawak state assembly was supposed to have been dissolved on June 7 but this was suspended due to the nationwide state of emergency that took effect from Jan 12 until Aug 1.
If the state of emergency lapses on Aug 1, the Sarawak election must be held within 60 days from Aug 2.
However, with the King proclaiming a state of emergency for Sarawak, the people in the state would not go to the polls this year.
The gazette shall be laid before Parliament pursuant to Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the Emergency in Sarawak was proclaimed as a means to postpone the state election and prevent Covid-19 from becoming more serious in the state.
“The Cabinet in its meeting on July 21 agreed to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to consent to a proclamation of a state of emergency on Sarawak as soon as the current Emergency ends today.
“In line with that, the King, upon discussion with the state government of Sarawak, had consented to declare an Emergency between Aug 2, 2021, and Feb 2, 2022,” the PMO said in a statement.