King revokes emergency proclamations for Gerik, Batu Sapi and Bugaya

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, has revoked the emergency proclamations in the Gerik, Batu Sapi and Bugaya constituencies, paving the way for polls to be held there in line with the 15th general election (GE15).

(FMT) – The emergency proclamations had been put in place to prevent by-elections during the Covid-19 pandemic after the passing of their respective elected representatives.

According to the proclamation documents published on the website of the Attorney-General’s Chambers for federal legislation, the King revoked the emergency proclamations at Istana Negara yesterday.

Sultan Abdullah previously agreed to declare a state of emergency in the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency in Sabah on Nov 18, 2020, postponing its by-election which was supposed to be held on Dec 5 the same year.

The seat fell vacant after its MP, Liew Vui Keong, died on Oct 2, 2020.

The emergency proclamations in the Gerik parliamentary constituency in Perak and the Bugaya state seat in Sabah were originally issued on Dec 12, 2020 to curb the spread of Covid-19 and postpone the by-elections in both seats which were set for Jan 16, 2021.

The Gerik seat fell vacant after its four-term MP, Hasbullah Osman, died on Nov 16, 2020, and the Bugaya seat fell vacant after its assemblyman, Manis Muka Darah, died on Nov 17, 2020.

Under the federal and Sabah state constitutions, elections must be held within 60 days of the seats becoming vacant.

The proclamation of emergencies in the three constituencies was based on Clause (1) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution and Proclamation of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2020, which allows for elections or by-elections to be postponed.

Yesterday’s revocation of the emergency proclamations followed an audience Sultan Abdullah granted to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob amid speculation Ismail would raise the issue of the dissolution of Parliament, paving the way for GE15.

However, Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin was reported as saying the audience with the King was just a pre-Cabinet briefing and that the date for the dissolution of Parliament was not discussed.