by FARA AISYAH / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has declared a Proclamation of Emergency for Batu Sapi, Sabah, effectively cancelling the upcoming by-election for the parliamentary seat.
Istana Negara said in a statement that the Proclamation of Emergency based on Clause (1) Article 150 of the Federal Constitution was to enable an ordinance to be enacted under Clause (2B) of Article 150 to revoke the date set for the by-election.
“With this declaration, whatever proceedings that had started for the purpose of conducting the by-election for P.185 Batu Sapi would not be continued for the sake of controlling and preventing an outbreak of the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and another date will be set for the by-election.
“Therefore, with this, His Majesty has consented that the Declaration of Emergency Proclamation for P.185 Batu Sapi, Sabah, be implemented as a proactive step to curb the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement issued by Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin read.
The Election Commission (EC) had set Nov 23 for nomination, Dec 1 for early voting and Dec 5 for polling for the Batu Sapi by-election.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Batu Sapi by-election will be held immediately once the Covid-19 pandemic ends.
“We do not want a surge of new Covid-19 cases in Batu Sapi in particular, and Sabah in general, if this pandemic spreads if the Batu Sapi by-election is held.
“This will, of course, affect the efforts of our frontliners, who are largely exhausted after a long struggle to contain the epidemic,” he said in a special address.
Sabah still records the highest number of Covid-19 cumulative cases in the country.