COVID-19: Govt May Impose Emergency Instead of Creating Bill to Postpone Polls- Minister

  • 03 Nov 2020

The government will not amend the Federal Constitution in order to postpone elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parliament heard today. 

Instead, Putrajaya may declare a state of emergency under Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution to stave off polling, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said in a written reply to BN lawmaker Mahdzir Khalid who had asked if the government has plans to create a new bill to allow for elections to be postponed during the pandemic. 

According to Takiyuddin, creating a legislation to delay elections during the pandemic would be in conflict with the Federal Constitution, and amending the constitution will require the support of two-thirds majority in Parliament. 

The country is facing two elections - the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election in Sabah, and the Sarawak state elections, which are scheduled to be held on Dec 5 amd by the middle of next year, respectively. 

This amid the consistently high number of COVID-19 infections recorded in the last few weeks. 

Putrajaya has recently pushed for an emergency to be implemented nationwide to contain the spike in COVID-19 cases, but the request was shot down by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who said the government was handling the pandemic alright, as it is. 

The Ruler further urged politicians to stop politicking during the pandemic instead. 

Several states, including Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Sabah, are currently under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to handle the surge in COVID-19 cases. 

The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths from the disease in the country, stand at 33,339, and 251, respectively. 

More than  47.3 million people have been infected by COVID-19 worldwide, and over 1.2 million have died from the disease. 

Source: Free Malaysia Today, Malay Mail
Photo source: Astro Awani

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