State Legislature will continue if Emergency is extended

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The tenure of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) will continue indefinitely should the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decides to extend the Emergency if the Covid-19 situation does not improve after August 1.

Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said apart from such a situation, the nationwide Emergency should not be extended past its slated end date on Aug 1.

“Looking at the statement from Istana Negara, there is a real likelihood that the Emergency will not be extended when it ends on Aug 1.

“For the Sarawak DUN, which presently is in ‘extra time’ and being kept alive by the Emergency, the end of the Emergency also means that the Sarawak DUN will automatically dissolve,” the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president said yesterday (June 18).

He added that the DUN’s tenure would only continue if the Agong decided to extend the Emergency period in Sarawak in the event that the Covid-19 situation here still has not improved by then.  

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing had earlier said the lifting of Emergency after Aug 1 would leave Sarawak in a political and social conundrum.

He pointed out that, by law, the state election would have to be held within two months of the end of the Emergency period.

At the same time, he also said the practice of parliamentary democracy at a time of health crisis was not necessarily the best for the people.

“The decision makers in any democratic nation must be intelligent enough to choose between the practice of democracy and the safety of human lives,” said Masing.