Decision on whether to declare Emergency in Melaka by next week, says PM

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today that a decision on whether the government will declare an Emergency in Melaka to avoid impending state polls will be made next week. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today that a decision on whether the government will declare an Emergency in Melaka to avoid impending state polls will be made next week. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — A decision on whether the government will declare an Emergency in Melaka to avoid impending state polls will be made next week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

A report by Malaysiakini today quoted Ismail saying the matter is currently being briefed to Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah before the next step is made.

“I understand that the acting Agong will receive a briefing from the Attorney General, Health Ministry and Election Commission (EC).

“We will wait until after the acting Agong is briefed. Cabinet will decide next week,” he was quoted saying in the report.

Ismail is said to have made these comments after officiating the Keluarga Malaysia pre-launch event in Angkasapuri today.

The need for a new state government, which would be the third in as many years in Melaka, was triggered by the withdrawal of support for Umno’s Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali from four state representatives, causing him to lose the majority.

The four are Datuk Seri Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Datuk Noor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundur), Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas), and Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu).

Idris, a former chief minister, and Noor Azman were later sacked by Umno for their betrayal towards the Barisan Nasional-led government, while Noor Effandi was also dismissed by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Bersatu Malaysia. Norhizam, formerly from DAP, is an independent.

Following their withdrawal, Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam consented to the dissolution of the state assembly, which triggered the requirement for snap polls within 60 days.

Pakatan Harapan has since claimed that Mohd Ali erred in his decision to dissolve the state assembly, saying Sulaiman, by losing the majority, also lost his appointment as chief minister and eligibility to advise the Governor, therefore nullifying the dissolution.

The Melaka State Legislative Assembly has 28 state constituencies and Perikatan Nasional (PN) had the support of 17 lawmakers before the withdrawal of the four assemblymen.

Idris, Norhizam and Noor Effandi were appointed as state executive councillors after the change of government in March last year, as a consequence of PH’s collapse the month before from the Sheraton Move.

That administrative realignment however took place without dissolving the Legislative Assembly and birthed PN, despite the then chief minister Adly Zahari’s advice to the governor to pave the way for an election.

On Tuesday, the Election Commission (EC) had reportedly received an official notification about the dissolution of the 14th Melaka Legislative Assembly, but have yet to make an official announcement if polls will be held.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had said Cabinet is set to discuss the matter today which he explained involved not only public health factors but also legal and constitutional considerations.

Khairy did say that his ministry would provide the necessary standard operating procedures to the EC if an election is held.

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