Emergency proclamation needed to avoid Covid-19 spike

Prime Minister's Office

KUCHING: The Emergency Proclamation which deferred the Sarawak state election until next year is needed amid the debilitating Covid-19 situation nationwide, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

In a statement today, it said that the Cabinet during its meeting on July 21 agreed to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to approve Proclamation of Emergency for Sarawak.

It said that the localised Emergency would take effect after the nation-wide Emergency which was announced in January this year ended after Aug 1.

“In this regard, Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Sarawak state government has approved the Proclamation of Emergency which will be effective Aug 2, 2021 until Feb 2, 2022.

“A Proclamation of Emergency for Sarawak needs to be declared to postpone the state election in order to prevent the current Covid-19 transmission from becoming more serious.

“With this Proclamation of Emergency, the state election will not be held during the period unless it is terminated earlier.”

Earlier Saturday, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah decreed that Sarawak be placed under a Proclamation of Emergency from Aug 2, 2021 to Feb 2, 2022.

The proclamation has prevented the state election from being held within 60 days from the expiry of the current nationwide Emergency tomorrow (Aug 1).

A Federal Government Gazette said the King was satisfied that a grave emergency existed whereby security, economic life and public order were threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Tuesday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak would wait for the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on whether to proceed with the state election or otherwise, soon after the Emergency Order was lifted.