Dr M: Emergency is to save PM, not curb COVID-19

FORMER Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad threw brickbats at his successor Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on rumours that the latter may declare an Emergency to deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

In a blog post today, Dr Mahathir said the nation has adequate laws to deal with the on-going pandemic without calling for an Emergency.

“COVID-19 is being used all this while to delay, shorten and even stop debates at the Parliament. Now, he is using it to call for an Emergency.

“In Malaysia, we don’t see our people objecting to health standard operating procedures (SOP) like in the US and Europe.

“So, what can an Emergency do to stop the pandemic more than what we’re doing now? Absolutely nothing!” he said.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin called for a special Cabinet meeting at Seri Perdana. It was speculated the former was looking into declaring an Emergency due to the on-going pandemic.

However, critics have said that Muhyiddin was looking at the ‘nuclear option’ as it was rumoured that his political adversaries may be looking at dislodging his government by voting down Budget 2021 which is scheduled for Nov 6.

However, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah ibni Almarhum Sultan Ahmad Shah has informed the government that he will need to deliberate the proposals with the Conference of Rulers first before making any decision.

An irate Mahathir accused Muhyiddin for the recent spike in COVID-19 cases due to the latter’s attempt of trying to grab power in Sabah recently.

He added the mere rumour of an Emergency has spooked investors, resulting in the stock market taking a dive.

“And if an Emergency is declared, the market will collapse completely. Investors will have no faith in the prime minister being able to manage the economy,” said the Langkawi MP.

Mahathir alleged that Muhyiddin’s recent move was due to his own insecurities, claiming that as the latter came into power through undemocratic means, he was hell-bent on staying on at all costs.

“Faced with the possibility of being overthrown, Muhyiddin wants to hang on using Emergency powers. This move will only benefit him as it will paralyse the Parliament.

“And he will just justify it by claiming it was the Palace’s wish,” he added.

Selangor Barisan Nasional chairman Isham Jalil has called for Muhyiddin to resign following rumours of an Emergency being proclaimed.

“Let the Agong decide what is the best way to deal with the on-going health crisis. An Emergency should the last resort.

“In my view, there are other laws which can be used to deal with the pandemic,” he said.

On related matter, PKR MP Wong Chen reminded the Cabinet that their oath was to defend the Federal Constitution, not just follow the whims and fancies of the Prime Minister.

“If you continue to side with Muhyiddin, know that if an Emergency is indeed declared, your inaction and stance will contribute to the erosion of the rule of law and fundamental rights in Malaysia.

“So if you disagree with the Prime Minister’s move, please do the honorable thing and resign,” he added. – Oct 24, 2020

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