As we all know, before the expiry of the Proclamation of Emergency issued on the 11 January 2O2l by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the whole of Malaysia, His Majesty had further proclaimed a state of Emergency over the whole of Sarawak on 2nd August 2O2l until 2nd of February 2022 due to the threat to public health caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following these proclamation, the State general election which under the State Constitution was to be held upon the dissolution of Dewan Undangan Negerl on 7th June 2021 was further postponed to another date during which the Proclamation of Emergency is no longer in force. According to the proclamation, the state of emergency is due to expire on 2nd of February 2022 after which Dewan Undangan Negeri is to be dissolved and a general election to the Dewan Undangan Negeri is to be held within 60 days thereafter. This is to guarantee that the right of the people of Sarawak to democratically elect their government in line with the parliamentary democratic practices is protected.
Section 2(2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 (“Ordinance”) however provides that the operation of the proclamation of emergency may be terminated earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan A9on9 after consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of the State of Sarawak,
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. 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 Agongt consent to terminate earlier the proclamation of emergency in accordance with section 2(2) of the Ordinance.
Had the Emergency not been proclaimed, the Dewan Undangan Negeri would have been dissolved by the 7th of June 2021 as required by the Constitution of the State of Sarawak and my 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 Constitution of the State of Sarawak and the Federal Constitution 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.
Despite this, we also realize that the health and safety of the people of Sarawak is paramount. Therefore, in coming to this decision we have had careful and constant engagement with the health authorities and other 2 stakeholders in order for the election to be held with all the necessary Standard Operating Procedures (“SOP”) in place and the rates of Covid vaccination has achieved a level which would be acceptable by the authorities for the election to be conducted safely.
Having been advised that legal and public safety and health consideration have been put in place, and in compliance with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent to revoke the proclamation of emergency after consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of the State of Sarawak, and in accordance with Article 2l(2) ot the Constitution of the State of Sarawak read together with section 3(3) of the Ordinance, the Yang di- Pertua Negeri Sarawak has proclaimed that the Dewan Undangan Negeri is dissolved with effect from 3’d November 2021.
YAB Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg
CHIEF MINISTER OF SARAWAK