Sarawak CM tells politicians and public not to comment on rumoured emergency declaration

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said people should wait for an official statement from Istana Negara if there will be an emergency declaration. — Bernama pic
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said people should wait for an official statement from Istana Negara if there will be an emergency declaration. — Bernama pic

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Oct 24 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today advised the public and politicians not to comment or issue statements on a purported declaration of emergency being sought by the Federal government which at the moment is based on hearsay.

He said people should wait for an official statement from Istana Negara if there will be an emergency declaration.

“Emergency is a very serious subject. You cannot simply comment,” he told reporters after attending a ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrading of five roundabouts along Kuching-Samarahan Expressway here.

Abang Johari was asked if he agreed to the declaration of an emergency apparently suggested by the federal Cabinet yesterday.

“I don’t want to comment because I don’t have the details. Only heard about it on social media. If I comment, others will comment on my comment.

“Whether I agree or not does not arise because I don’t have the details. I don’t want to comment on something which is hearsay,” he said.

Istana Negara issued a statement earlier today that Yang di-Pertuan Agong will discuss with the other Malay rulers on the suggestions he received from the Cabinet yesterday.

Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the King has advised the public to remain calm, not to panic and be patient while awaiting a decision on the proposal made by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

According to the comptroller, Muhyiddin had an audience with the King at 5pm in Istana Abdul Aziz in Kuantan yesterday, where the prime minister presented several suggestions that came from yesterday morning’s cabinet meeting.

The statement, however, did not give any details on the suggestions or if a proclamation of emergency was part of the suggestions as heavily speculated

He also noted that the audience was requested by the prime minister following the special Cabinet meeting.

One of the options was purportedly for the government to declare an “economic emergency”, to thwart the possibility of snap polls being forced and to provide more time for the ruling PN to battle Covid-19 without being distracted by political instability.

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