SARAWAK TO DISSOLVE STATE ASSEMBLY EITHER ‘TODAY OR TOMORROW’? – ABANG JO FEIGNS SURPRISE AT THE ‘RUMORS’, THEN DROPS BIG HINT – ‘BUT LET’S WAIT ONE OR TWO DAYS OR MAYBE NEXT WEEK’ – POINTING TO THE DOWNTREND IN THE STATE’S DAILY NEW COVID CASES

Patience, all will be revealed in time, Sarawak CM says of rumoured state electionSIMANGGANG — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today asked that the public be patient as they wait for the dissolution of the Sarawak State Assembly that will pave the way for the 12th state election.“Just wait for a while. I am also waiting,” he told reporters after launching the Sri Aman Development Authority (SADA) here.

“I am aware that people are feeling impatient because they know the number of Covid-19 cases in the state has declined. It has been over 700 cases for three days, dropping from over 1,000 cases, and that is why people are starting to ask if the election is coming soon,” the chief minister said.

Abang Johari, who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, was asked at a press conference to comment on speculation that the state assembly could be dissolved either today or tomorrow.

The chief minister, however, admitted that he was granted an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, but added that it was about the Emergency Order in Sarawak.

“It is about Covid-19. Nothing else,” he said.

The chief minister said he does not know when the state election will be held, stating that it is not within his power to decide.

“It is the King’s prerogative. If he says the state election is going to be held, then the state election will be held.

“I can’t go into greater detail. It is not within my power,” Abang Johari said.

The five-year term of the state assembly expired on June 6, but was extended due to the nation-wide Emergency Proclamation by the King early this year.

He then declared another Emergency only for Sarawak from August 2, 2021 to February 2, 2022.

During the period of Emergency, the sitting of the state assembly and the state election were both suspended. MALAY MAIL

Abang Jo denies seeking King’s consent to lift emergency in Sarawak

KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today denied claims that he has sought the consent of Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to lift the state of emergency in Sarawak to pave the way for the 12th state election.

Abang Johari, while confirming that he did have an audience with the King, said that it revolved around the Covid-19 pandemic and situation in the state.

“Yes, I had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong but it had nothing to do with the emergency. However, I cannot tell you in detail,” he told the reporters during a press conference in Sri Aman today.

Asked if there would be an announcement to end the emergency in Sarawak, and if the state legislative assembly would then be dissolved to pave way for the state election, Abang Johari said he does not have the power to decide and thus, would be leaving it to the King.

“So let’s wait for the official announcement. I am also waiting for it,” he added.

“Maybe people started to speculate (about the state election) following the drop of daily Covid-19 cases in the state as well as the whole country. But, let’s wait for one or two days, or maybe next week,” he said.

Reports and rumours have suggested that the proclamation of emergency in Sarawak, which was scheduled to end in February, is expected to be lifted soon, requiring the 12th Sarawak state election to be held within 60 days.

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, whose term is scheduled to end on June 6, has continued to function following the proclamation of emergency in Sarawak from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022, in a bid to combat the raging Covid-19 pandemic, which had effectively suspended the state election.

In a government gazette dated July 30, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had decreed that the proclamation of the emergency in Sarawak was to suspend the state election to prevent any further increase in the spread of Covid-19. NST

MALAY MAIL / NST

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