KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3: The formulation of a new law to allow for the postponement of elections due to Covid-19 is not appropriate as it is in conflict with the Federal Constitution, says de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan.
In a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat today, Takiyuddin said amending the constitution will require two-thirds majority support.
“(But) the government can propose the postponement of an election if it feels that the pandemic can be declared a state of emergency under Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.
He was replying to Mahdzir Khalid (BN-Padang Terap), who asked if the government was planning to amend the constitution or create a new bill to allow for elections to be postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Previously, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said amendments should be made to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 so that elections can be prevented for safety reasons.
He said the health ministry currently had no power to cancel any election and could only discuss with the Election Commission about setting certain procedures in place for future polls.
Recently, Putrajaya had proposed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency as the number of Covid-19 cases had surged.
Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Sabah have been placed under conditional movement control order to curb the surge in cases following the Sabah election held on Sept 26.
There have been calls from several parties for a snap general election to be held. Sarawak is also due to have its election before Aug 7, 2021, and a by-election is scheduled for Dec 5 in Batu Sapi, Sabah.