Asfia: PRN12 can be held within 60 days once Emergency Ordinance 2021 is revoked

Mohamad Asfia holding copies of the gazettes of the proclamation of Sarawak Emergency and the new ordinances of Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 at the Sarawak DUN today. Screenshot taken from Sarawak Public Communications Unit's (Ukas) livestream today (August 4, 2021).

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Aug 4: The 12th State Election (PRN12) can be held within 60 days once the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 is revoked and terminated.

Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah can terminate the timeline of the Sarawak emergency which runs from Aug 2, 2021 to Feb 2, 2022 earlier after consulting with Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, paving the way for PRN12.

“The operation of the proclamation of the Emergency Ordinance 2021 may be terminated earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri Sarawak.

“Let me highlight the salient features of the current Ordinance.

“Section 3(1) reads for so long as the emergency is in force, the provision of Clause (3) of Article 21 of the Constitution of the State of Sarawak that the Dewan Undangan Negeri do stand dissolved after five years from its first sitting, shall have no effect.

“The Sarawak DUN shall be dissolved on the date the proclamation of emergency is revoked or annulled.

“The moment the emergency is revoked or annulled, then the DUN is dissolved,” he told reporters during a special press conference on the proclamation of Emergency (Sarawak) and the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 at Sarawak DUN here today.

Mohamad Asfia explained that the date of the the Emergency (Essential Power) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 which runs from August 2, 2021 to February 2, 2022 is not fixed.

He expounded that Emergency (Essential Power) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 provides flexibility and latitude to be terminated, revoked or annulled under Section 2(2) of the ordinance.

Mohamad Asfia pointed out that the Emergency (Essential Power) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 is a new ordinance tailored made for Sarawak adding that it was not an extension of the Emergency (Essential Power) Ordinance 2021 that applies to the whole of Malaysia declared on January 11.

Earlier, he explained that under Clause (3) of Article 21 of Sarawak Constitution, Sarawak DUN should have dissolved on June 7 but Clause (3) of Article 21 had no effect as paragraph 15(1)(a) of the Emergency (Essential Power) Ordinance 2021 has suspended the dissolution of Sarawak DUN.

He explained that Emergency (Essential Power) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 was promulgated pursuant to Article 150(1) and Article 150(2B) of the Federal Constitution.

Mohamad Asfia expounded that the King has the power to declare an emergency to suspend an election for DUN to be held in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

As Sarawak moves towards achieving herd immunity in its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, he pointed out that the Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has to prepare for PRN12 as it is inevitable.

Sarawak DUN deputy speaker Dato Gerawat Gala was also present at the press conference. — DayakDaily