KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) welcomes and fully supports the King’s decision to declare a state of emergency in Batu Sapi, Sabah which cancels the by-election in the parliamentary constituency.
Its President Tan Sri T.C Goh also opined that if necessary, similar ‘regional state of emergency’ should also be considered for the other imminent by elections in the country. He underscored that this is necessary in order to prevent a spike in Covid-19 cases which would be devastating to our economy, besides causing unnecessary deaths, hence it should be avoided at all cost.
The two imminent by elections are namely Gerik parliamentary constituency in Perak, and Bugaya state constituency in Sabah, following the passing of the respective MP Datuk Hasbullah Osman, and Warisan’s assemblywoman Datin Manis Muka Mohd Darah, recently.
Goh recalled that a ‘regional state of emergency’ was previously declared on 23 June, 2013 in the southern part of Johor covering the two districts of Muar and Ledang, due to worsening haze situation. However, it was immediately lifted on the following day, when the situation improved. The other two such occasions were during political unrest in Kelantan and Sarawak, in 1977 and 1996 respectively.
He noted that all the three occasions were regional in nature and each with their own specific reason, while this time around, it was due to a pandemic.
He described the King’s decision on a Proclamation of Emergency under Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution to cancel the Batu Sapi by-election, as a wise, appropriate and democratic move. This was also in line with Huazong’s recent proposal calling for an appropriate move to temporarily postpone elections and by elections in the country, until the pandemic is over.
He thus expressed his utmost gratitude to the King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s decision which fully demonstrated his love and care for the people amidst the fight against the pandemic. This was especially timely in view of a widespread spike in Covid-19 cases in Sabah, following the state election held on 26 September.
Gof who is also the President of The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) noted that, as of Wednesday, Sabah still topped the list as the state with highest number of Covid-19 cases, totaling at 24,269 cases, with 181 fatalities. On the same day itself, Sabah recorded 387 new cases, with 3 new clusters and two deaths, which was clearly alarming.
He thus underscored that the declaration of emergency to postpone by elections has got nothing to do with politics, but was essentially based on serious consideration of the people’s health and safety.
“This was evident, as the matter of fact that, the people’s daily life still goes on as usual during this period of time. Furthermore, the prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin too has assured that there won’t be any curfew or military rule in place, while the government administration and people’s daily life goes on as usual, except that everyone must strictly abide by the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government and the relevant authorities.
“The prime minister also assured that the government would allow the people to exercise their democratic right to vote, as soon as the pandemic is over,” he said.
He reiterated that Sabah can’t afford to have another wave of Covid-19 spikes which had proven to be extremely dreadful and costly, and it should be avoided at all cost.-pr/BNN