Motion to delay state election by 6 months dismissed

Wong tabling a motion calling for the implementation of postal voting or setting up polling stations at other states so as to allow Sarawakians living outside Sarawak to vote

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 10: The motion by Pelawan assemblyman David Wong calling on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg not to call for election within six months given the Covid-19 situation has been dismissed on constitutional grounds.

State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar ruled that this motion cannot be allowed to proceed because to do so would usurp the constitutional power of the head of state bestowed under Article 21(2) of the State Constitution of Sarawak.

“This motion is misconceived.

“The dissolution of the Dewan Undangan Negeri is the sole prerogative of Tuan Yang Terutaman Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak pursuant to Article 21(2) of the State Constitution of Sarawak,” he elaborated in dismissing the motion in the August House today.

Article 21(2) reads, “The Yang di-Pertua Negeri may prorogue or dissolve the Dewan Undangan Negeri.

“This motion is unconstitutional because it violates Article 21(2) of the State Constitution depriving the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of his constitutional right as to when to dissolve the Dewan Undangan Negeri,” he added.

In tabling the motion, Wong pointed out that there was no urgent need to dissolve the DUN in the near time given the spike in Covid-19 cases following Sabah’s election which had overwhelmed the healthcare system of Malaysia.

Furthermore, he added that the Sarawak DUN term only ends in June 2020.

“The state government is not only the custodian of the state resources but the protector of the well being of Sarawakians. Nothing is more important than the health of fellow Sarawakians.

“And the Election Commission has told the Chief Minister not to hold the state poll anytime soon on Oct 13.

“Generally, Sarawakians are against the idea of holding the state election during this Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. — DayakDaily