S'wak seeks to dissolve state assembly, at Agong's discretion

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S'wak seeks to dissolve state assembly, at Agong's discretion
S'wak seeks to dissolve state assembly, at Agong's discretion

The Sarawak state government is seeking to dissolve its state legislative assembly but will let the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decide when it should happen.

According to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi, state Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg will seek an audience to discuss the matter with the king soon.

"The dissolution of the state legislative assembly will be on a date the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, after consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, thinks appropriate," Nanta was quoted as saying by The Star.

The Sarawak state legislative assembly is due to automatically dissolve on June 6 which would normally mean that elections must be held within 60 days.

However, currently, there is a nationwide state of emergency declared because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The emergency is slated to end on Aug 1.

Under the emergency, elections, Parliament and state assemblies have been suspended.

"In normal circumstances, it would have been dissolved to allow the rakyat to democratically elect their government in an election.

"But we are under a health emergency until Aug 1," Nanta said.

He stressed that holding the state elections soon was not a priority for GPS and that polls during Covid-19 would be risky.

Sarawak reported 324 new cases of Covid-19 today, with 6,419 active cases requiring medical attention in the state.

There had been concerns that state elections in Sarawak would severely worsen the pandemic there.

Last year, the Sabah state elections led to a severe spike in Covid-19 cases in the state and later the peninsula.