KUALA LUMPUR: A declaration of emergency, as the one proclaimed in the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency on Nov 18, is being considered for Gerik parliamentary constituency and Bugaya state constituency, which are facing a by-election following the death of the respective elected representatives, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the declaration, however, depends on the risk assessment by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN).
He said, for the declaration in Batu Sapi, the Cabinet decided to ask Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency in accordance with Article 150 of the Federal Constitution after taking into consideration the current situation of COVID-19 in Sabah.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Nov 18, declared an emergency in Batu Sapi, which thus cancelled the by-election for the parliamentary seat initially set for Dec 5.
Takiyuddin said among the major issues in Batu Sapi was the huge possibility of non-compliance of the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the MKN to curb the spread of COVID-19, besides the problem in the appointment of election workers as only 143 out of the 834 of them were willing to take up the job as of Nov 6.
“The MOH has also stated their difficulties to provide healthcare workers and medical officers to handle the voters in Batu Sapi who numbered over 32,000.
“On that basis, the government is of the opinion that the declaration of emergency is very accurate and the move taken by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was in accordance with the Federal Constitution. It is never an act that contradicts the practice of democracy,” he said.
Takiyuddin said this in reply to Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (UMNO-Pontian) who wanted to know whether the government is planning to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency in Bugaya state constituency in Sabah and Gerik parliamantary constituency in Perak.