Sarawak chief minister uses analogy of football to explain state govt’s situation

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government under his leadership is now in ‘injury time’ following the end of existing State Legislative Assembly term. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government under his leadership is now in ‘injury time’ following the end of existing State Legislative Assembly term. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office

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KUCHING, Oct 22 ― Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is using the analogy of football to explain the position of the Sarawak government now following rumours that the 12th state election would be held soon.

In a media conference after the Meet in [email protected] event today, he said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government under his leadership is now in “injury time” following the end of existing State Legislative Assembly term.

“I am in a dilemma. Currently we (GPS government) are actually in injury time. Some said how can I be the chief minister when there is no mandate.

“If we seek the mandate from the people (by holding state election) now, to elect the government, (some parties) claimed we are afraid of facing Undi 18 (young voters). Our position is clear we respect democracy. We also want the 18 years old to vote. To us, our (mandate) has expired waiting for penalty kicks only,” he said jokingly.

Asked on the suitable date for the state election to be held, Abang Johari said he is leaving the matter to the Election Commission to decide.

“It’s up to EC to set the date. We are still under an emergency, if it is lifted, then the state constitution can operate (as normal),” he said.

On July 31, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed the emergency to go on in Sarawak until February 2 following the threat of Covid-19 pandemic and thereby postpone the state election for the period.

According to Clause (3) of Article 21 of the State Constitution, the Sarawak assembly should have been dissolved on June 7, but the clause has no power under paragraph 15 (1) (a) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 which suspends the dissolution.

However, Section 2 (2) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021, issued following the Sarawak Emergency Proclamation, states that His Majesty can terminate the proclamation earlier after consultation with the Yang Dipertua Negeri Sarawak. ― Bernama

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