PRIME Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the Emergency proclamation was to deal with the rising COVID-19 cases, not a 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 said, in a live speech earlier.
Earlier today, 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.
“It is worth to note that 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.
Muhyiddin said that under the Emergency, businesses will be allowed to run a usual, directed by guidelines under the movement control order (MCO) and related standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“Businesses, banks, Bursa Malaysia and Securities Commission (SC) will operate as usual. I would like to inform all stakeholders out there that Malaysia remains open for business,” he said.
On that note, Muhyiddin assured the public that the Government is committed towards the value of good governance at all times.
“The judiciary, our beacon of justice, will also function as usual. To everyone out there, I wish to reiterate my stand that I will never interfere in the business of our courts,” he said.
Providing details on the Emergency, Muhyiddin said that Sultan Abdullah would be announcing a few ordinances under emergency laws, which would provide the Government extra powers to assist in their efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Citing examples, the Pagoh MP said that they may come up with ordinances to rope in the private healthcare players to help in the battle against COVID-19.
“For instance, we can draw expertise, assets, laboratory and other facilities from the private sector under Emergency powers to help our frontliners. We can also rope in the police and military in the effort as well,” he added.
In terms of security, the Prime Minister said that national borders will be secured even more, with the military aiding the police and Immigration officials.
“We can also come up with ordinances to curb monopoly, economic sabotage and act against those who hoard essential goods,” he remarked, adding that the ordinances will be made public.
On the political front, Muhyiddin said that the Federal Government will have extra authority over state governments, except for matters involving Islam, Malay culture and other privileges granted to the indigenous communities.
He added that Parliament and state assemblies would not be convened, unless consented by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“And there will be no general election or by-elections during this period. Besides, voters don’t want an election now due to COVID-19. Suffice to say, we have learnt our lesson from the Sabah state election last year,” Muhyiddin said.
In a reminder to politicians, the Prime Minister acknowledged that there were leaders who are calling for snap polls, adding that he had no problems with that.
“My only concern in seeking Sultan Abdullah’s consent to dissolve the Parliament is COVID-19. As per maqasid Syariah (Islamic legal doctrine), it’s my duty as a Muslim to protect human life from harm, in this case, COVID-19.
“But rest assured, once the pandemic subsides and the health experts agree, we will hold the next general election. Let the voters decide on the next Government then.
“But for now, I call upon all politicians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), youth movements and others to aside your differences and work with me to combat COVID-19,” Muhyiddin remarked. – Jan 12, 2021.