State election possible only after Aug 1

BY NUR ASHIKIN LOUIS & TANIA LAM

KUCHING: As it has been specified that no general election, state or by-election will be held during the state of emergency period, the Sarawak state election can only be held after Aug 1, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said this would be the case unless the Emergency was relaxed or lifted in Sarawak before Aug 1.

“If the Prime Minister specifically said no election could be held, then that is how it is,” said the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president on Tuesday (Jan 12).

He said the power to impose a state of Emergency was enshrined in Article 150 of the Federal Constitution.

Meanwhile, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep said declaring the Emergency was a wise decision.

“With that, the country will be able to focus on dealing with Covid-19,” he said.

He added during the period, the government and politicians must stop playing politics and should concentrate on the people’s lives instead.

Earlier on Tuesday (Jan 12), Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah declared a state of Emergency until Aug 1 in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin made a special address following the proclamation, in which, among other clarifications, he said there would be no parliamentary sittings or elections during the Emergency.