Sarawak State Assembly term extended during emergency period


KUCHING – The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, whose term is scheduled to end today, will continue to function until Aug 1, 2021 by virtue of the declaration of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, Speaker Datuk Amar Haji Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar said today.

He said pursuant to Article 21(3) of the Sarawak State Constitution, the tenure of the state legislative assembly would end today, but this provision has been temporarily suspended because it is superseded by the Emergency Ordinance 2021 promulgated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“Today (June 6) is the last day of the term of the 18th Sarawak State Legislative Assembly. By tomorrow, the state legislative assembly should therefore be dissolved pursuant to Article 21(3) of the State Constitution.

“(But due to the Emergency) the state legislative assembly and all its 82 honourable members and the Cabinet ministers will continue to perform their duties and responsibilities under the umbrella and protection of the Emergency Ordinance,” he said in a statement.

Mohd Asfia said he will inform the Election Commission (EC) chairman that the state legislative assembly is not dissolved today and that it shall continue its term until Aug 1, 2021.

On May 25, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had advised the Sarawak state government to continue functioning as usual although the term of the state legislative assembly is scheduled to end on June 6.

The power to dissolve the state legislative assembly lies with His Majesty after consultation with the head of state of Sarawak.

Al-Sultan Abdullah stated that the state government has the power to continue functioning during the Emergency period as allowed by His Majesty through the Emergency declaration, which is effective from Jan 11 to Aug 1, 2021.

The state legislative assembly was dissolved on April 11, 2016 to pave the way for the Sarawak state election on May 7, 2016.

After the state election, the state legislative assembly first met on June 7, 2016.

The 82-member state legislative assembly comprises Gabugan Parti Sarawak with 68 representatives, Parti Sarawak Bersatu (6), DAP (5), Independent (2) and one vacant seat.