A state of emergency has been declared in the Gerik parliamentary constituency in Perak and Bugaya state constituency in Sabah in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, effectively postponing the by-elections which had been scheduled for January.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he had presented the proposal on the advice of the Cabinet, and that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had agreed to declare an emergency in the two constituencies.
“The king consented to declare a state of emergency in both constituencies after being satisfied of the need under Clause (1) Article 150 of the Federal Constitution to proclaim an emergency ordinance which will allow the by-elections in Gerik and Bugaya, scheduled for Jan 16, to be cancelled and held on a later date,” he said in a statement.
The government said in November that it would consider proposing a state of emergency in Gerik and Bugaya if these constituencies were at risk of Covid-19 transmissions.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Takiyuddin Hassan cited the situation in Batu Sapi where Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah declared a state of emergency, cancelling the by-election set for Dec 5.
Muhyiddin today said that the Cabinet had held detailed discussions on Dec 4 on the effect that a by-election would have in Gerik and Bugaya if polls are held while Covid-19 infections continue to spread.
“Based on the spread of infections which followed the state election in Sabah, the Cabinet believes that these two by-elections need to be avoided due to the threat to public health, the economy and public order,” he said.