Government to function as usual after June 6

Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will continue to function as usual even though the tenure of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) ends on June 6.

Universiti Malaya (UM) Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said this is because the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has advised the Sarawak government to continue to carry on its duty as usual with the powers under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021.

He said for now, the Sarawak Cabinet would continue to function as usual after June 6 and would be considered as an interim Cabinet before the DUN is dissolved.

“The interim government shall continue to exercise power taking into account the Emergency. The only thing that they cannot do is to draft new laws during that period,” the political analyst told New Sarawak Tribune on Friday (June 4).

He pointed out that the Emergency Ordinance overrides the election law of the states including Sarawak.

“So, an election cannot be held for as long as the emergency is still going on,” he said.

He added that when the emergency ends on August 1, only then the 12th State Election could be held within 60 days thereon.

Awang Azman added that it also depended on the level of achievement of the vaccination in Sarawak.

“If Sarawak vaccinates more than 80 percent of the population, then it is safe to hold the state election because the herd immunity has been achieved.

“This will avoid a huge spread of Covid-19 as what had happened during the Sabah election last year,” he said.

Meanwhile, another political analyst Professor Datuk Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman also viewed that there should not be any issue with regards to the ending of the DUN term.

“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has given his consent to the Sarawak government to continue its roles and responsibilities as usual during the emergency period.

“As such, there should not be any further questions raised on this matter,” he said.

Mohd Fadzil said what was important now is that there should be a continuous effort in the fight against the raging Covid-19 pandemic.