KOTA KINABALU: There is still no indication when a by-election for the Bugaya state seat will be made after it was made vacant following the death of its assemblyman on Nov 17, 2020.
Manis Muka Mohd Darah passed away just months after winning the state seat in the Sabah snap-polls on Sept 26, 2020, due to health complications.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the power to call for a by-election lay in the jurisdiction of the Election Commission.
“It’s up to the Election Commission (EC),” he said when asked about the update on this vacant seat seeing that the state government is heading into its half-term in power come October.
He said this to reporters after opening a new hotel here, Monday (Sept 26).
Under Malaysian law, a by-election must be held within 60 days once Parliament or the state assembly has been informed of a seat vacancy.
However, it can be postponed if a state of emergency is declared.
Many leaders have questioned the delay but both the state government and EC have only used the emergency orders and Covid-19 threat as the reason for it thus far.
Following Manis Muka's death, Covid-19 lockdowns and later localised emergency orders were put in place in the Bugaya seat.
The order has yet to be lifted.