‘King has power to declare Emergency in Sarawak if pandemic warrants it’

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang.

KUCHING, Nov 19: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has all the powers in the Federal Constitution to declare an Emergency on Sarawak should the Covid-19 pandemic situation warrants it as has been done on Batu Sapi in Sabah, said Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang.

However, he said, should the Emergency be imposed on Sarawak to postpone the State election during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has to be implemented state-wide.

“Yes, my humble personal opinion (I stand, corrected of course) His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong has all the powers in our Federal Constitution to declare an Emergency on Sarawak should the Covid-19 Pandemic situation warrants it as has been done on Batu Sapi in Sabah.

“The Federal Constitution supersedes the State Constitution in any event of any conflicting terms.

“But it would be a point for consideration by His Majesty that it would be difficult and impracticable to declare emergency on just a part or parts of the State involving some constituencies while leaving other parts or constituencies not affected. Movement of the electorates and managing them would be very difficult indeed,” said Idris in a statement issued here today.


He asserted that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has been consistent in that his administration has continued to focus on the safety of the people during the current Covdi-19 pandemic.

“Therefore, should there be any emergency, it has to be an all-encompassing one, enveloping the whole of Sarawak thus deferring the State election sine die,” stressed Idris.

He asserted that it would also be meant that all provisions regarding election under the State and Federal Constitutions would be “suspended” for that period of emergency until it is lifted.

Idris, who is also Muara Tuang assemblyman was commenting on the declaration of Emergency for Batu Sapi which resulted in the Batu Sapi by-election being postponed.

The Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency fell vacant following the demise of its MP the late Datuk Liew Vui Keong last month.

The current term of the State Legislative Assembly expires on June 6, 2021 and thereafter it has 60 days for the State election to be held.