THE Government should uphold their duty and responsibilities to the rule of law and protect fundamental liberties, enshrined under the Federal Constitution despite being under Emergency.
“We’re concerned about the lack of check and balance on the concentration of executive powers of the Government during Emergency.
“Therefore, we must emphasis that the state of Emergency should be guided by human rights principles and should not be used for any purpose other than to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), in a statement.
On Tuesday, the Istana Negara announced that the nation would in a state of Emergency until Aug 1, to battle the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Later on, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin assured the public the Emergency was proclaimed due to a health crisis and not a military coup.
The Pagoh MP also promised that once the pandemic has subsided to a manageable level, he would dissolve the Parliament to make away for a general election.
On that note, Suhakam urged the Government to provide adequate support to the public during the unprecedented times, in terms of economics and social rights.
“The support must particularly target the vulnerable communities affected by the state of Emergency and the movement control order (MCO).
“These measures include the provision of support for livelihood, food, education, social protection and health,” it said.
On the Emergency itself, Suhakam felt that it was unjustified, given that the Government had already imposed MCO to stem the rise of the pandemic.
“Suhakam notes that the number of COVID-19 cases has been on the rise since the past few months.
“However, the current measures undertaken by the Government, including the MCO and strict adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOP) by everyone may be sufficient to contain the pandemic,” it added. – Jan 14, 2021.