Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Agong consents to end emergency in Sarawak, paving the way for polls

He says this is to return the mandate to the people in the formation of a new state government.

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The Yang di-Pertuan Agong today gave his consent to end the state of emergency in Sarawak, paving the way for state polls which had been delayed due to the Covid-19 situation and blocked by an extended emergency in the state.

“His Majesty’s consent to end the proclamation of emergency was a difficult and complicated decision,” Istana Negara said in a statement.

“However, consent was given to fulfil the needs of democracy and to return the mandate to the people to make a choice in the formation of a new state government.”

The palace said the decision followed an audience granted by Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud, who requested that the emergency in Sarawak be ended.

It said an audience was also granted to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob ahead of a Cabinet meeting, at which the Agong had consented to receive his advice on ending Sarawak’s state of emergency.

Another audience on the same matter was granted to Attorney-General Idrus Harun on Nov 2.

“His Majesty’s consent to end the proclamation of emergency for Sarawak is in line with Articles 40 and 40(1A) of the Federal Constitution,” the palace said.

“According to Section 2 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021, the proclamation of emergency can be ended earlier by His Majesty after consultation with the governor.”

Adding that the Agong had voiced concern about the risk of an increase in Covid-19 infections if a state election is held, it said Sultan Abdullah also stressed that the safety and well-being of the people should be prioritised above personal and political interests.

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