KUCHING: The state government continues to be legitimate after the end of the state assembly’s five-year term on June 6, asserts lawyer-lawmaker Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his Cabinet are still given full authority to govern the state throughout the period of Emergency even beyond what was considered to be the end of its term.
“This is until such time the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri dissolves the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) under section 15(1)(b) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021.
“Since the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong said, ‘carry on as usual’, therefore, he is not going to use his power under Section 15(1)(b) of the Emergency Essential Powers Ordinance to dissolve the DUN,” the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister said when contacted yesterday.
Wan Junaidi said unlike the Emergency declared in 1969 where Sarawak was run by a caretaker government, this time it is different as there is no automatic dissolution of the DUN.
“Accordingly, the State Cabinet is not, I repeat, not a caretaker government like in 1969 to 1970, but the Cabinet is of legitimately elected representatives subsisting under Section 11(b) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021.
“The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong considered that it is not necessary to have the general election just yet,” he said.
Wan Junaidi said by virtue of Section 11(b), the power to govern the State is vested on the Chief Minister and his cabinet and by virtue of section 11(c), officers who are vested with power under the laws, Federal or State, would continue to exercise the powers.
“The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance does not vest any power to govern on the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri,” he said.
On Tuesday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah advised the Sarawak state government to continue functioning as usual although the term of the DUN ends on June 6.
The King stated that the state government had the power to continue functioning during the Emergency period as allowed by His Majesty through the (Emergency) declaration effective last Jan 11 until this August 1.