Emergency proclamation period not ironclad

State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar and his deputy Datuk Gerawat Gala at the press conference today. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: The date of the end of the current localised Emergency period in Sarawak is not set in stone, said State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar.

He said it was possible for the Emergency to be revoked earlier to pave the way for the dissolution of the DUN.

“The dates of Aug 2, 2021 to Feb 2, 2022 fixed in the proclamation are not ironclad. The Emergency can be revoked and terminated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak.

“The Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 provides flexibility and latitude to be terminated, revoked and annulled,” he said in a press conference at the DUN building on Wednesday (Aug 4).

Asfia said Section 2(2) of the Emergency Ordinance stated that the operation of the Proclamation of Emergency (Sarawak) may be terminated earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

He said Section 3(3) meanwhile said the DUN shall be dissolved on the date when the Proclamation of Emergency (Sarawak) is revoked or annulled.

Last week, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed that a grave emergency existed and covered the entire state from Aug 2 to Feb 2 next year, postponing the state election.

State Legal Counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong had recently said barring any early revocation of the Emergency by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, the DUN would only be dissolved on Feb 3 next year

On Tuesday, Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Ikmalrudin Ishak said the state polls had been suspended in view of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Proclamation of Emergency for Sarawak from Aug 2 to Feb 2 next year.

“The state election will be held within 60 days from the date of the revocation of the Proclamation of Emergency or its annulment.

“This is in line with Section 3(1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 stipulating that the State Constitution’s provision on the dissolution of the state legislative assembly five years after its first meeting would have no effect during the duration of the Emergency,” Ikmalrudin said in a statement.