EC receives notification on dissolution of Sarawak State Assembly, paving way for state election

(MMO) – The Election Commission (EC) has been officially notified about Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s royal assent to ending the Emergency proclaimed in Sarawak, with a state election now set to be held within 60 days.

EC secretary Datuk Ikmalrudin Ishak in a statement today said the commission received the official notification about the royal assent on November 3 from Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.

Ikmalrudin said based on Section 3(3) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021, the State Legislative Assembly will be dissolved on the date when the Proclamation of Emergency is revoked or annulled.

“Under the same Ordinance, Section 3(4), it is stated that a state election must be held within 60 days from the date when the Proclamation of Emergency is revoked or annulled.

“Therefore, the EC will hold a special meeting to discuss the implementation of the state election,” he said, adding that the date of the meeting will be announced later.

Yesterday, Istana Negara’s acting Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Azuan Effendy Zairakithnaini said the Agong made the decision following an audience with both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Azizan Harun.

Lifting the Emergency ahead of the original February 2, 2022 expiry was the Agong’s prerogative, which he exercised following the meeting with Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, the palace official said.

The Emergency in Sarawak was proclaimed in August, after a previous proclamation covering the entire country was lifted.

It had allowed the state to delay the state election that it would have needed to hold within 60 days of June 6, when the term of the 18th Sarawak assembly expired automatically.

The Ordinance states that Emergency was implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s threat on security, economic life and public order, and to prevent the spread of the virus if Sarawak holds its state election.