SEMATAN: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malay rulers have given good advice to politicians and the people in their decision not to proclaim a state of emergency, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Sarawak Chief Minister said he welcomed the decision and thanked the King for his wise words.
“Firstly, he advised politicians to stop politicking and secondly, that Malaysians should be united in facing Covid-19. For us in Sarawak, we will abide by the King’s advice and we will continue to carry out our duties to serve the people,” he said.
Abang Johari said this when speaking to reporters after launching the deployment of artificial reef balls in the Sampadi-Tanjung Datu coastal waters here on Monday (Oct 26).
With no emergency proclaimed, Abang Johari said this meant Sarawak would still face a state election in the coming months when the current state legislative assembly’s term ends next June.
“We face a situation where our mandate will end soon. We have no option (but to hold elections).
Since an emergency has not been declared, it means government institutions continue to function normally,” he said.
Abang Johari said he would leave it to the Election Commission (EC) and health authorities to come up with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the election to be held in a controlled environment so that it would not lead to a spike in Covid-19 cases.
“I hope the EC can look at what was done in Singapore and New Zealand and learn from their experience on how they conducted elections during Covid-19,” he added.
State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah also welcomed the decision by the King and Malay rulers not to proclaim an emergency.
“From the start, I felt that what we are facing now is not sufficient for an emergency to be imposed.
“We are not facing a major disaster like an earthquake or a total breakdown in the system. What we are facing is Covid-19 but this is affecting the whole world. So we are happy that the King has made this decision,” he said.
Karim also called on “power-crazy” politicians to heed the King’s advice to stop politicking at this time.
“I hope those who want to become prime minister or table a no-confidence motion will put all that aside first.
“We have a bigger problem in Covid-19. There will be other parliamentary sittings where they can put in a vote of no confidence. This time, let us address the immediate problem first,” he said, referring to the coming Budget session in Parliament.