Dissolution date for Sarawak DUN to be decided by King

Nanta during the press conference earlier today – FB video screen capture

By Chew Lip Song

THE dissolution of the Sarawak assembly is no longer automatic upon the expiry of its five-year tenure but at a date deemed appropriate by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in consultation with the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri, now that a nationwide Emergency is in place.

Gabungan Parti Sarawak secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said that under normal circumstances, the state legislative assembly would have automatically dissolved on June 6 this year, exactly five years since its first meeting on June 7, 2016.

“However, this provision in the state constitution has no effect by virtue¬† of the Emergency Ordinance 2021.

“The dissolution of the DUN thereunderwill be on a date the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, after consultation with the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri Sarawak thinks appropriate,” Nanta told a media conference today.

Nanta, who is also Federal Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister said this matter had been brought up by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg when he met the Yang Di-Pertuan Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud recently.

The CM will also have an audience with the Agong on this.

Nanta said the ruling coalition had “full confidence and trust” in the wisdom of the King and Taib to decide on this.

Asked if this meant that there would not be a state election before Aug 1, when the Emergency was due to end, Nanta said this would be up to the King and the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri.

But he added that the GPS’ position was that an election should only be called when the Covid-19 numbers were under control.

The King earlier this year declared a nationwide Health Emergency following the spike in Covid-19 cases. This meant that all legislatures, including the Dewan Rakyat, Dewan Negara and the respective state assemblies have been suspended.