KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today made a Proclamation of Emergency for the Gerik parliamentary constituency in Perak and the Bugaya state constituency in Sabah, in effect cancelling the by-elections for both seats.
The Proclamation of Emergency based on Clause (1) Article 150 of the Federal Constitution was made after studying the explanation given by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who had presented his advice based on a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting.
“His Majesty has consented to declare a state of emergency for both by-elections after being satisfied that there is a need to declare a Proclamation of Emergency based on Clause (1) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution.
“This is to promulgate the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance (No 2) 2020 under Clause (2B) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution to cancel and postpone indefinitely the by-elections for the Gerik parliamentary constituency and Bugaya state constituency scheduled for Jan 16, 2021.
“On behalf of the Cabinet, I extend my heartfelt thanks to His Majesty for agreeing to declare a state of emergency in both constituencies,” Muhyiddin said in a statement.
Muhyiddin said the Cabinet, on Dec 4, had discussed in detail the impact of the Gerik and Bugaya by-elections if they were to be held at a time when COVID-19 was still spreading in the country.
The prime minister said taking heed of the surge in COVID-19 cases following the Sabah election last September, the Cabinet was of the view that the two by-elections should be avoided on the grounds of them being a threat to public health, economic livelihood and public order.
The Election Commission (EC) had earlier fixed the two by-elections to be held simultaneously on Jan 16 following the deaths of the seats’ elected representatives.
On Nov 16, Gerik member of parliament Datuk Hasbullah Osman died in Raub, Pahang of a heart attack.
Bugaya assemblyman, Manis Muka Mohd Darah, meanwhile, died the next day after suffering from kidney disease.