With the Malacca State Legislative Assembly having been dissolved, snap polls will be held in the state.[1]

A question has arisen whether state elections can be conducted during the period the emergency ordinances remain in force (“the Question”).

The Question is a valid one as the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 contains provisions relevant to State Legislative Assemblies.[2]

Since the emergency ordinances were not properly revoked,[3] the emergency ordinances have effect for six months after the Proclamation of Emergency ceases to be in force.

Article 150(7) of the Federal Constitution states:

At the expiration of a period of six months beginning with the date on which a Proclamation of Emergency ceases to be in force, any ordinance promulgated in pursuance of the Proclamation and, to the extent that it could not have been validly made but for this Article, any law made while the Proclamation was in force, shall cease to have effect, except as to things done or omitted to be done before the expiration of that period.” (Emphasis mine)

The Proclamation of Emergency only ceased to be in force on 2nd August 2021,[4] hence the emergency ordinances promulgated pursuant to the Proclamation will remain in force until 6th February 2022.

Section 13 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 provides the following:

For so long as the emergency is in force

(a) the provision relating to an election for the election to a State Legislative Assembly in the Eighth Schedule to the Federal Constitution, Constitution of any State and any State Law shall have no effect; and

(b) an election for the election to the State Legislative Assembly shall be held on a date as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong thinks appropriate after consultation with the respective Ruler or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.” (Emphasis mine)

Section 13 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 is clearly contingent on the emergency still being in force.

Since the emergency ceased to be in force with effect from 2nd August 2021, the answer to the Question should be in the affirmative notwithstanding the fact the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 continues to have effect.


[1] “Melaka assembly dissolved, says Speaker Ab Rauf.” 5 October 2021.  https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2021/10/05/melaka-assembly-dissolved-says-speaker-ab-rauf-yusoh

[2] Attorney General’s Chambers. “Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021.” P.U. (A) 12/2021. 14 January 2021. https://lom.agc.gov.my/ilims/upload/portal/akta/outputp/pua_20210114_PUA12.pdf.

[3] Staff Writers, “Palace says Agong yet to consent to revocation of emergency ordinances.” 29 July 2021. https://www.malaysianow.com/news/2021/07/29/palace-says-agong-yet-to-consent-to-revocation-of-emergency-ordinances/

[4] Attorney General’s Chambers. “Proclamation of Emergency.” P.U. (A) 7/2021. 12 January 2021. https://lom.agc.gov.my/ilims/upload/portal/akta/outputp/pua_20210112_PUA%207.pdf.