Emergency: PM has near absolute powers, his reasoning doesn’t add up

THE Emergency proclamation would give Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin near absolute powers to administer the nation as he pleases.

“We are concerned about how it will affect our already weakened economy and investors’ confidence. This will also not help create jobs for the people,” Pakatan Harapan said, in a joint statement.

The statement was signed by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu.

This morning, the Istana Negara announced that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to Muhyiddin’s proposal to declare an Emergency, following the continuing trend of daily four-digit COVID-19 cases in the country since December.

In a statement, the Palace said that Al-Sultan Abdullah ibni Almarhum Sultan Ahmad Shah made the decision following a 45-minutes meeting with the Prime Minister yesterday.

“After receiving feedback from Muhyiddin and other key persons, Sultan Abdullah is of the view that the COVID-19 cases in the country is getting critical and there is a need to proclaim an Emergency under Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

“The Agong had also referred the matter to the Council of Rulers before making the decision,” Istana Negara’s Comptroller of the Royal Household, Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin was reported saying.

Private healthcare ready to help, without Emergency

In a televised address later, Muhyiddin assured the public that the Emergency proclamation was to deal with the rising COVID-19 cases, not a power coup.

“During this time, the civilian Government will continue to function as usual. The Cabinet and the state governments will also run as usual, as well as our civil service,” he was reported saying.

Interestingly, Umno MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz announced that he would no longer support Muhyiddin later in the evening, making him the second Umno lawmaker to abandon the Prime Minister after Machang MP Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub.

Noting that Muhyiddin had lost support from his allies, Pakatan said that the former should not use COVID-19 as an excuse and burden the public by declaring an Emergency.

The Opposition pact also rejected Muhyiddin’s reasons for the Emergency, adding that there are sufficient laws to deal with the pandemic, including the movement control order (MCO).

“For example, he was talking about getting the private healthcare to help using Emergency powers. That is not necessary as the private hospitals are ready to assist on the matter.

“There is no need to use Emergency powers to get their support,” it added.

On postponing elections, Pakatan said that the deadline for the Sarawak state election is due in August, which is still some time to go.

“And the 15th General Election is only due by 2023,” Pakatan said. – Jan 12, 2021.

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