PUTRAJAYA: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong (pic) has consented for an emergency to be declared in Gerik, Perak and Bugaya, Sabah, thus postponing the by-elections in the two seats.
In a statement, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Cabinet had presented their views to the King on the by-elections, which were both scheduled to be held simultaneously on Jan 16.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has given his consent for an emergency to be declared for both by-elections.
“On Dec 4, the Cabinet discussed in detail the consequences of holding the Gerik and Bugaya by-elections if the Covid-19 pandemic was still widespread in the country.
“Learning from the lesson of the Covid-19 outbreak that was brought about by the Sabah by-election, the Cabinet feels that these two by-elections should be avoided, due to health, livelihood and public order factors, ” said Muhyiddin.
The Gerik by-election was triggered by the death of its incumbent MP Datuk Hasbullah Osman, who died of a heart attack in Raub, Pahang on Nov 16.
The following day, Bugaya assemblyman Manis Muka Mohd Darah passed away due to kidney complications, causing the vacancy of her state seat in Sabah.
Previously, the King had also consented to the declaration of a state of emergency in the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat, which was due to have a by-election on Dec 5 over Covid-19 concerns.
The Batu Sapi seat was declared vacant following the death after its incumbent, former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Liew Vui Keong, had died on Oct 2.
Separately, the Election Commission said in a statement that it acknowledged and agreed with the decision to postpone the two by-elections.
“With that, any proceedings that have begun for the purpose of holding the two by-elections will not be continued. Another date will be set for the by-election, ” said EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh.
Source: The Star Online