King must end Emergency before Sarawak polls can be held

KUCHING: Two things must be done before the 12th Sarawak state election can be held, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).

He said first, the Emergency Proclamation declared by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah that runs until Feb 2, 2022, would have to be terminated earlier with the King’s consent, if necessary.

“Secondly, the Sarawak state election could be held if His Majesty approves the terms agreed upon between the Sarawak Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud with the state government and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg,” he told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Mutiara Iman Mosque here yesterday.

On July 31, the King proclaimed a six-month emergency in Sarawak from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, thus suspending the state election for that period.

According to Article 21 (3) of the state constitution, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly should have stood dissolved on June 7.

But it does not have the power under paragraph 15 (1) (a) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 to suspend the dissolution of a legislative assembly.

However, Section 2 (2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021, issued in conjunction with the Emergency Proclamation for Sarawak, states that the operation of the Proclamation of Emergency may be terminated earlier by the King after consultation with the governor.

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