State Cabinet has executive authority

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING: The chief minister and the state Cabinet shall wield full authority to government Sarawak beyond the expiry of their terms on June 6 this year.

Lawyer-lawmaker and federal minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this is provided for under Section 11(b) the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance.

He said the provision allows the government to continue exercising executive authority in the same role that it was in on Jan 11 when the national Emergency was proclaimed.

He added that under the law, the legislative functions to make subsidiary legislation under federal and state laws shall continue to be exercised by the persons authorised by such laws.

“From the foregoing provisions, it is obvious that the chief minister and his Cabinet still have full authority to govern the state throughout the period of Emergency even beyond what is considered to be the end of their terms on June 6.

“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.

“In other words, the term of the state legislature does not end on the 6 June, 2021. It only ends on the date after the Emergency is lifted plus the number of days of suspension counted from June 6,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The Santubong MP 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) shall continue to exercise their powers.

To a question regarding the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance, he said it does not vest any power on the Yang di-Pertua Negeri to govern.

Similarly, he said there shall be no automatic dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly whose term has been suspended under Section 1(b) of Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021.

“Consequently from that time on, the term of the legislature shall also be suspended as if the time never moved.

“Therefore, the time during which the emergency remains in force could not be counted as part of the five-year term of the state legislature,” he said.

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