Emergency In Sarawak Extended To Prevent State Elections Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

Sarawak will continue to be under a state of emergency until 2 February 2022.

Cover image via The Waterfront Kuching

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The nationwide emergency in Malaysia, which was first declared on 11 January this year to contain the COVID-19, ends tomorrow, 1 August.

However, Sarawak will continue to be under a state of emergency until 2 February 2022 to prevent the state elections amidst the pandemic.

The proclamation of emergency for Sarawak was published in a federal gazette yesterday, 30 July.

The proclamation was signed off by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The proclamation said the Sarawak state assembly should have been dissolved on 7 June, but was suspended following the state of emergency proclaimed in the whole of Malaysia until 1 August.

It noted that the Sarawak election must be held within 60 days from the expiration of the national emergency, therefore requiring a localised emergency to be declared to postpone the state polls.

The proclamation said the suspension of the Sarawak state election is intended to prevent the further increase in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proclamation states said that the Agong was satisfied that a grave emergency existed whereby the security, economic life, and public order in the federation were threatened by COVID-19

Malaysiakini reported that a separate law was also published in the federal gazette to give the incumbent GPS-led Sarawak government power to continue functioning amidst the emergency.

The Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 states that for as long as the Sarawak emergency is in force, the dissolution of the state assembly shall have no effect.

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