‘Govt to consider emergency if Gerik, Bugaya face Covid-19 risks’
KUALA LUMPUR,. The government will consider proposing an emergency declaration in Gerik parliamentary constituency in Perak and Bugaya state constituency in Sabah if these constituencies are at risk of Covid-19 transmission, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said that the decision would be made after referring the matter to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN).
“As we know that this matter is stipulated under the provisions of Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution which is allowed if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a state of emergency can be declared in an area or the whole of Malaysia.
“This includes what was done in the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong made a Proclamation of Emergency for the constituency, in effect cancelling the by-election for the seat.
“The same move is expected to be considered by the government if the Gerik parliamentary and Bugaya state constituencies face the same risks,” he said when winding-up the debate on the Supply Bill 2021 at Committee level for the Prime Minister’s Department in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
On Nov 18, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah made a Proclamation of Emergency for the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency, which in turn cancelled the by-election set for Dec 5.
On Nov 27, the Election Commission (EC) announced that the by-elections for the Gerik parliamentary seat and Bugaya state seat will be held simultaneously on Jan 16, 2021.
Responding to a question from Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) who wanted to know whether the government would declare a state of emergency in Sarawak if the Sarawak state assembly is dissolved, Takiyuddin said that the government would consider the matter when the time comes.
On the question of preparing for the election in a new normal environment, Takiyuddin said that in preparation, the EC had identified the election officials and started briefings and training for those involved.
He said that the briefing and training covered a new electoral process involving guidelines or standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection.
The EC has also obtained additional Covid-19 prevention equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitiser, thermal scanners and so on, apart from collaborating with agencies related to the prevention of Covid-19 pandemic such as MoH and MKN, he said. — Bernama