Constitutionally, unless sooner dissolved, state legislative assemblies will be dissolved five years from its first sitting.
Since the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly had its first sitting on 7th June 2016, the state legislative assembly should have been dissolved (at the latest) by June 2021 and state elections be called within 60 days from the date of the dissolution.
As a result of the nationwide Proclamation of Emergency issued on 11th January 2021 and the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, the “provisions relating to an election for the election to a State Legislative Assembly …, Constitution of any State and any State Law [has] effect.”
This means that the constitutional necessity for the Sarawak state elections to be held is temporarily suspended until either the Emergency is no longer in force or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong sets a state election date after consultation with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak.
At the present moment, the Emergency is scheduled to cease after 1st August 2021 and the Malay Rulers have stated that “there is no necessity to place the country under a state of emergency after Aug 1, 2021.”
Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr. James Jemut Masing, the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, has voiced his concerns that the Sarawak state elections have to be conducted once the Emergency comes to an end.
At this juncture, such concerns are perfectly valid as the Sabah state elections had catastrophic effects on COVID-19 cases in the state.
As admitted by Tan Sri Dato Seri Haji Mahiaddin Bin Haji Md Yassin, the current Prime Minister of Malaysia, and supported by researches which have been conducted, the Sabah state elections resulted in a third wave of COVID-19 infections in the country.
One option to further defer the Sarawak state elections would be by way of a statewide Proclamation of Emergency.
If what happened in Sabah were projected/predicted to happen to Sarawak as a result of the Sarawak state elections, this would be a “grave emergency … whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in … [Sarawak] is threatened.”
Precedents for a statewide Proclamation of Emergency exist. In the past, statewide Emergencies were declared in Sarawak and in Kelantan due to political instability.
Prior to the nationwide Emergency, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also issued a Proclamation of Emergency over the parliamentary constituency of Batu Sapi resulting in a postponement of a by-election due to a casual vacancy.
As of 21st June 2021, only 29.89% of the population of Sarawak has been vaccinated.
A further Emergency in Sarawak would enable the health authorities to continue their vaccination efforts and potentially achieve herd immunity (or full vaccination) before the Sarawak state elections are held.
The Election Commission would also be able to use the time to refine its standard operating procedures for elections conducted in the midst of the pandemic.
It saddens me to know that our beloved Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed (henceforth Dr M) is of the opinion that there will never be a true Malaysian. After 51 years of being an independent nation, is it cockamamie to think that true Malaysians exist? Is it really something unachievable?
Dr M’s opines as such because the people (you and i) continue to hang on to our own identity, culture and language. Our former premier further elaborates that such obstacles would not only hinder unity but also block the government’s efforts to create a new Malaysian race
He added that unless Malaysians of different race, language, and culture embrace ONE identity for the sake of our future and nation (like in the Philippines and Thailand), there will never be a true Malaysian.
Dr M clearly regards our different races, cultures and languages as a stumbling block rather than a stepping stone. That is disappointing because ever since my schooling days, I have been thought to take pride in the fact that i live in a multi-racial and multi-religious country (negara berbilang kaum dan agama)
Malaysia has always played that fact to our advantage (e.g. on websites, brochures, etc). We often promote ourselves to the world as a unique country whereby citizens of different races & religions live in harmony with one another (evidenced in the Malaysia Tourism Guide)
Furthermore, tourism.gov.my states that the “Malays, Chinese, Indians and many other ethnic groups have lived together in Malaysia for generations. All these cultures have influenced each other, creating a truly Malaysian culture.”
By virtue of “hanging on to our own culture,” we have developed a Malaysian culture. Should we all now abandon our own culture and embrace a common identity? No! If we do so, what would make us any different compared to our neighboring countries?
The truth of the matter is that we dont all need to have one identity in order to be a true Malaysian. A true Malaysian is one who:
1. Knows the cultures of different races
– During Chinese New Year, red packets (angpows) are given out by those married to their younger relatives,
– Malay children are brought up to shake and kiss the hands of their parents/elders,
– Henna body art is an essential part of the Indian culture,
– Kadazandusuns in Sabah celebrate the Kaamatan (harvest) festival while the Dayaks in Sarawak celebrate Gawai Dayak
2. Speaks a little of every language
– Tamil: Dei/Deyh, Thambi, Anne, Tani/Thani
– Cantonese: Tabao, Leng Lui, Leng Zai
– Mandarin: Wo Ai Ni, Lao Shi, Ni Hao Ma
– Hokkien: Wa, Lu, Toh Long,
– BM saints: Kantoi, Lepak, Awek, Cun
3. Supports national athletes & national teams
– Datuk Lee Chong Wei (badminton),
– Harimau Malaya (football),
– Pandalela Rinong (diving),
– Azizulhasni Awang (cycling),
– Datuk Nicol Ann David (squash)
– Sazali Samad (bodybuilding)
4. Refuses to racially abuse his/her fellow brothers and sisters
– The quote “We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race” by Kofi Atta Annan has become somewhat of a platitude
– However, there is so much truth in it!
5. Knows key historical events
– 31st August 1957 marks the independence of Malaya
– Sarawak achieved independence on the 22nd of July in 1963 while 31st August 1963 was when Sabah became a sovereign state
– Malaysia was formed in 1963, on the 16th of September, comprising of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak
6. Knows the national anthem (Negaraku) by heart
– Though those of us out of public school no longer sing it every Monday, we live out the words everyday!
– On top of that, we temporarily have the honor and privilege (no, I’m not being sarcastic) of singing it collectively in the cinema prior to any movie
The list is not exhaustive. Take some time to think what else should be a touchstone to being a true Malaysian. Embracing a common identity is definitely not one of it!
The 40th President of the United States (i.e. Ronald Reagan) once said, “If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.” It clearly makes no sense to say that you love your country but don’t love your countrymen!
Simply put, a true Malaysian is one who places his fellow brothers and sisters first. By loving our fellow Malaysians, we can forge an indestructible unity! It all begins with love!
*This awesome article appeared in The Malaysian Insider
A reply to:
Ganti Tuhan dengan Allah strategik Kristianisasi kata NGO
The Secretary-General of Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia, Mr Abdul Karim Omar claims that the use of the word “Allah” to replace God in the Bible was/is part of the Christianisation strategy. The statement cannot be further from the truth.
Firstly, he clearly did not do his research or he would’ve found out that in the Bible, there are many verses using the phrase ‘Lord God’. If the word Allah (currently used as the translation for “God” in the Al-Kitab), is replaced by Tuhan, the verses would translate Lord God as “Tuhan Tuhan”
That is a fundamental doctrinal error as it gives the impression that Christians worship more than one God. Furthermore, the word Lord and the word God carries different meanings. It would be inaccurate to use one word (i.e. Tuhan) to replace both the words “Lord” and “God”
Furthermore, the use of the word “Allah” is an integral part of the Christian faith, especially those in Sabah & Sarawak. Christians there have been praying and worshipping using the word “Allah” for hundreds of years. This is evidenced by “a century old Catholic prayer book” in BM
Article 3(1) allows religions other than Islam to be practiced in peace and harmony. If Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been using it for more than 100 years in peace and harmony, who are we to say it is not an integral part of their faith? Who are we to infringed their freedom to practice their religion? (Article 11 Federal Constitution). It’s pretty evident that the whole fight is just so that the Christians in Sabah and Sarawak can maintain their current practice and is NOT meant to proselytize to the muslims
What is more epic is that even PAS agrees that non-muslims can use the word “Allah” provided it is not misused
Moreover, the secretary general of Muafakat’s statements that, “komuniti Kristian evangelis yang cuba memurtadkan komuniti Islam mula menggunakan kaedah “Strategi Kontekstualisasi” untuk lebih mendekati komuniti Melayu Islam melalui budaya dan adat resam mereka.” is not supported by any hard evidence. Propagation of any religion to Muslims is an offence. If Muafakat has any evidence at all to corroborate their claim, I suggest you make a police report and let the authorities handle it
Even the Al-Kitab’s which were seized by JAIS were meant to be for the BM speaking Christians, be it in Semenanjung Malaysia or in Sabah or Sarawak. The Bibles are NOT used to confuse Muslims and convert them (as claimed by certain parties)
As to Mr Abdul Karim Omar’s statement, “sekiranya trend memurtadkan umat Islam berkembang, menjelang tahun 2100, penganut Islam
dan Kristian akan berada dalam sekitar 40%, manakala lain-lain kaum berada pada paras 20%,” I answered it quite extensively in one of my earlier articles
Mengambil Korea Selatan sebagai contoh, Karim berkata pada 1905 jumlah Kristian hanya 0.5% daripada populasi negara itu. Tetapi akibat perkembangan pesatnya pada tahun 1970an dan 1980an, ia meningkat kepada 30% pada 2005, katanya.
“Ia berlaku di Korea Selatan dan boleh berlaku di sini,” tambahnya
He clearly did not take into account that it is a crime to proselytize to Muslims in Malaysia. *facepalm* A failure to look into the social setting will lead to such skewed views
In conclusion, please stop spreading all these false anti-christian sentiments. Unless of course you want to tear our nation apart and cause our forefathers to roll in their graves out of disappointment and disgust