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Malaysia's king extends COVID-19 state of emergency in Sarawak to stop polls

Malaysia's king extends COVID-19 state of emergency in Sarawak to stop polls

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's king extended a state of emergency in the eastern state of Sarawak until February 2022 to suspend regional elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Malaysia is under emergency rule nationally to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but that is set to expire on Sunday (Aug 1).

The state of emergency in Sarawak, however, will be extended until Feb 2 next year, Bernama reported, citing the government gazette.

King Al-Sultan Abdullah decreed that the emergency is to suspend the state election in order to prevent any further increase in the spread of COVID-19.

READ: 11 COVID-19 cases reported in Malaysia parliament

The Sarawak legislative assembly's term had ended on Jun 6. The national emergency prevented an election from being held and allowed the term to be extended.

Malaysia's COVID-19 infections have spread rapidly in recent weeks. 

Daily cases hit a record 17,405 this week, and the total number of infections stood at 1,095,486 as of Friday. 

READ: More than 183,000 active COVID-19 cases in Malaysia amid record ICU numbers

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Source: Reuters/mi


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