Asia

Sarawak state assembly dissolved: Chief Minister

KUCHING (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) The Sarawak legislative assembly has been dissolved with effect from Wednesday (Nov 3) following the King’s consent to revoke the statewide emergency, said Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the dissolution was proclaimed by Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud after having been advised that legal and public safety and health considerations have been put in place.

“It’s a unique situation where the Agong has lifted the Emergency, automatically (the state assembly) is dissolved.

“But as a matter of procedure, we will ask the Speaker to inform the Election Commission officially,” he told a press conference on Friday (Nov 5).

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari said the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government consulted and advised the Governor to seek the King’s consent for the Emergency to be terminated earlier in the spirit of their oath to preserve and protect the state and Federal constitutions.

“In order to hold true to our oath to preserve and protect the state and Federal constitutions and safeguard the right of the people to choose their own government, the GPS government feels that it would be a betrayal to that oath if the GPS government were to hang on to power under the veil of a state of emergency, whereas the people’s mandate to govern had expired,” he said.

At the same time, Mr Abang Johari said the people’s health and safety were paramount.

He said the state government had engaged constantly with health authorities and other stakeholders in coming to the decision to seek the early termination of the Emergency.

“(This is) in order for the election to be held with all the necessary standard operating procedures in place and the rate of Covid-19 vaccination has reached a level which would be acceptable by the authorities for the election to be conducted safely,” he said.

Mr Abang Johari said it was now up to the EC to decide the election dates.

Asked if seat allocation had been discussed by GPS, he said yes without elaborating further.

On Wednesday, the King gave his consent for the Emergency in Sarawak to be lifted earlier than its scheduled end next February after consulting the Sarawak Governor and considering the advice of the Prime Minister, Attorney General and relevant government agency heads.

The Sarawak Legislative Assembly was due to dissolve automatically on June 7 following the expiry of its term, but the state election was suspended due to the nationwide Emergency which ended on Aug 1 and the subsequent Emergency in Sarawak from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022.

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