Following the King’s consent to lift the Emergency in Sarawak earlier than its scheduled end next February, paving way for the long-delayed state election to be held within 60 days.
In a statement on Wednesday (3 November), Istana Negara said the King gave his consent after granting an audience to Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at Istana Negara on Tuesday (2 November) to discuss the state’s application for the Emergency Proclamation to be lifted.
According to Bernama, constitutional expert Associate Professor Dr Khairil Azmin Mokhtar said the Sarawak state government will be automatically dissolved on reaching its full term and that a state election has to be held.
“When the Proclamation of Emergency is lifted and the Emergency Ordinance repealed, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly is then dissolved.”
”According to Article 21 of the Sarawak State Constitution, when the state assembly is dissolved, a state election has to be held within 60 days of the date of dissolution of the assembly and a meeting of the new assembly has to be convened not later than 120 days from this date.” he said.
On 31 July, the King has consented to the Proclamation of Emergency for the whole of Sarawak beginning 2 August until 2 February next year, effectively suspending the holding of the state election during this period.
Meanwhile, according to the Clause (3) Article 21 of the State Constitution, the State Legislative Assembly should have been dissolved on 7 June, but the Clause had no effect as Paragraph 15(1)(a) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 suspended the dissolution of the state assembly.
However, Section 2(2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 promulgated following the Emergency Proclamation for Sarawak stated that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can lift the proclamation earlier after discussion with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
Meanwhile, International Islamic University Malaysia law lecturer Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood said there was no need for Tun Abdul Taib to announce the dissolution of the state assembly as the state government had already completed its 5-year term and a state election should be held.
“There is no need for the TYT (Yang di-Pertua Negeri) to announce the dissolution of the state assembly because it has been dissolved.
“The action that can be taken now is to inform the Speaker (of Sarawak State Assembly) and Election Commission that the state assembly has been dissolved so that a state election can be held within 60 days.” he said.
The matter was confirmed by the Election Committee in a statement posted on Facebook yesterday (4 November) too.
On the other hand, the electoral reform group, Bersih 2.0 called for the government to implement Undi18 to ensure that Sarawakians aged 18 to 20 can still vote in this important poll.
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