KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday proposed a “state of emergency” to tackle the worsening Covid-19 pandemic situation, but the King Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has not approved yet.
Muhyiddin `s decision came after all cabinet ministers agreed to the implementation of a “state of emergency”. The decision was reached during a special cabinet meeting chaired by Muhyiddin yesterday morning in Putrajaya.
This move raises a lot of suspicions and criticism from the opposition side and many individuals against the PN government, amid political uncertainty with the PM facing internal and external pressure.
Agong will be consulting the Malay Rulers on the proposal raised by Prime Minister yesterday, Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement this morning.
He said the King understands the need for strong measures to fight the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit many parts of the country.
However, Ahmad Fadil, said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is also concern about apprehension and frustration among the people following the latest developments.
“Following the session yesterday, Al-Sultan Abdullah has agreed to consult fellow Malay Rulers at Istana Negara soon to discuss and deliberate the proposal raised by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,” said Ahmad Fadil.
It is reported that during his meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana AbdulAziz in Indera Mahkota, Kuantan yesterday, but the king did not approve yet.
According to reports, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may declare a state of emergency under Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution if a major emergency to the security or economic life or public order in the federation or any part thereof (has) existed. Under Article 150(2), the King may also make an emergency proclamation if he is satisfied that the threat of a major emergency to national security, or the economic life or public order is almost true.
Meanwhile, the opposition party headed by Anwar Ibrahim have strongly objected tho Muhyiddin `s move.
Anwar claims that the PN` s plan to implement a state of emergency at this time is just a mere political tactic to ‘descent into dictatorship’
” Emergency will cause decent into dictatorship,” he said in a statement that was posted on his Facebook yesterday night
“A state of emergency is declared when there is a threat to our national security. But when the government is itself the source of that threat then a state of emergency is nothing more than the descent into dictatorship and authoritarianism,” HE SAID.
Anwar accuses PM Muhyiddin of planning to use COVID-19 as an excuse to avoid the coming parliamentary sessions.
He claims Perikatan Nasional (PN) government lacks legitimacy and knows that it would fail to demonstrate majority support in Parliament and is using the COVID-19 crisis as an excuse to justify its abuse of power.
The Third Term of the 14th Dewan Rakyat session is supposed to convene for 27 days from Nov 2 until Dec 15.