Experts: Independent Special Committee on Emergency 2021 right move

THE Independent Special Committee on Emergency 2021 which comprises members of various backgrounds and expertise would be able to provide views that will prioritise the people’s safety and well-being.

Senior fellow of the Malaysian Council of Professors (MPN) Dr Jeniri Amir said the capabilities within the committee would ensure that they will be able to shoulder the responsibilities given as best as possible.

“They possess leadership qualities and integrity, and they will be able to uphold the trust given by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah),” he told Bernama.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced the appointment of the 19-member committee members after receiving the consent of His Majesty.

The PMO said the committee, set up under Section 2 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 serves to advise the King on the ongoing existence of major emergency in Malaysia and the end of it, and will be chaired by former Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.

Its members consist of public health experts, representatives of opposition political parties and the government, renowned figures in education, health, security, public order, public administration and law, muftis and chambers of commerce.

Jeniri said each committee member appointed would be professional and would not ignore the interests of the people in providing views and decisions on emergency issues.

He also expects the group not to get caught up in the political games of any party when making decisions.

Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Social Science School lecturer Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian opined that the committee will function as an effective form of check and balance as it is not only made up of experienced individuals, but also involves members of the government and the opposition.

According to him, the committee should be seen as a positive step to assess the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, in addition to advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in ensuring the emergency proclamation runs smoothly and effectively.

He said the committee’s establishment was also able to provide substantial input to the safety and health aspects of the country, besides providing a better image on the implementation of the state of emergency.

“This committee can make suggestions for improvement on what is being implemented by the authorities to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in a consistent manner,” he pointed out.

“In this context, I believe all its members have a responsibility to put the nation over political interests.” – Feb 10, 2021

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