KUCHING (Aug 1): The chief minister and state Cabinet members will continue to receive their pay and other benefits so long as the Emergency is in force, the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 said.
The Ordinance, which was gazetted on Saturday, said the chief minister and the Cabinet will also continue to exercise their executive authority over the state.
Similarly, members of the Dewan Undangan Negeri will receive their remuneration and other allowances and benefits until the dissolution of the legislative assembly.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had decreed that Sarawak be placed under a Proclamation of Emergency from August 2, 2021, to February 2, 2022.
The Ordinance states that Emergency was implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s threat on security, economic life and public order, and to prevent the spread of the virus if Sarawak holds its state election.
The term of the current DUN was supposed to end on June 6 this and it was supposed to have automatically dissolved with polls to be held within 60 days after the nationwide Emergency ended yesterday.
The Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 said for so long as it was in force, the provision of Clause (3) of Article 21 of the State Constitution that DUN is
dissolved after five years from its first sitting, will have no effect.
“For the avoidance of doubt, for so long as the emergency is in force, Clause (4) of Article 21 of the Constitution of the State of Sarawak shall have effect as if the words ‘within sixty days from the date of the dissolution and the new Dewan Undangan Negeri shall be summoned to meet on a date not later than one hundred and twenty days from that date’ have been deleted,” it said.
The Ordinance said DUN will be dissolved on the date when the Proclamation of Emergency is revoked or annulled and the state election will be held within 60 days.
In addition, provisions relating to the sitting of the DUN in the state constitution will have no effect.
However, the Ordinance also said that the Emergency could be extended or terminated earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
The Ordinance also empowers the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to take temporary possession of land, building or movable property from the owner, as well as demand for use of resources including human resources, facilities, utilities and assets, which will be compensated.
Anyone who does not comply with the demand or direction will be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5 million, or jail term not exceeding 10 years, or both. If it is not a person but a company, limited liability partnership, firm, society or other body and such, may be charged severally or jointly in the same proceedings.