Abang Johari: GPS can’t hang on to power under Emergency’s veil

Abang Johari holding the official statement on dissolution of Sarawak DUN to pave way for the 12th State Election.

KUCHING, Nov 5: The decision to call for the 12th Sarawak Election was made after careful consideration particularly when Sarawak has achieved a high vaccination rate for the polls to be conducted safely as the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government does not want to hang on to power under the veil of a state of Emergency when the people’s mandate had long expired. 

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised this when officially announcing the dissolution of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) with effect from Nov 3, 2021 following the revocation of emergency in Sarawak assented by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. 

“When members of my government and I were appointed, we made the solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the State of Sarawak and the Federal Constitution. 

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“It is in this spirit and intent that we have consulted with and advised the Yang di-Pertua Negeri to seek the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent to terminate earlier the proclamation of emergency in accordance with section 2(2) of the Ordinance,” he addressed a special press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

This is also in compliance with Section 2(2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 which provides that the operation of the proclamation of emergency may be terminated earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of the State of Sarawak.

Had the nationwide Emergency not been proclaimed in January 2021 and further extended fro Sarawak from Aug 2 until Feb 2, 2022, Abang Johari noted that Sarawak DUN would had been dissolved by June 7, 2021 as required by the Sarawak Constitution of Sarawak.

“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government would no longer have the people’s mandate, which was given in 2016, to govern.

“In order to hold true to our oath to preserve and protect the Sarawak and Federal Constitutions and safeguard the rights 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.

Abang Johari emphasised that this was to guarantee that the right of the people of Sarawak to democratically elect their government in line with the parliamentary democratic practices was protected.

As the election will be held amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Abang Johari acknowledged that the health and safety of the people of Sarawak was paramount and as such, careful considerations had been made in coming to this decision.

“We have had careful and constant engagement with the health authorities and other stakeholders in order for the election to be held with all the necessary standard operating procedures (SOP) in place and the rate of Covid vaccination has achieved a level which would be acceptable by the authorities for the election to be conducted safely,” he added.

Having been advised that legal and public safety and health consideration had been put in place and in compliance with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent to revoke the proclamation of emergency, Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had proclaimed that the Sarawak Assembly was dissolved with effect on Nov 3, 2021.

Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan were also present.— DayakDaily

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